Latest Griffin discovery completes the picture

Media release: Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The final original document from the Griffins' entry into the 1911 Federal Capital Design Competition has been handed over to the National Archives of Australia today at Parliament House.

Minister for the Arts Simon Crean accepted the rediscovered document on behalf of the National Archives from ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher. It has now joined the other original Griffin items in the National Archives' collection of 40 million items.

The document explains and describes the 16 competition drawings submitted by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin as part of their 'Entry 29'. Typed by the Griffins, it is in an unusual 'tall' booklet format favoured by Marion Mahony Griffin. It is unique as it includes original hand-drawn diagrams of the underlying concept for Canberra, shedding further light on the Griffins' vision for the city.

'I am delighted to see this document given into the custody of the National Archives,' said Mr Crean. 'The Archives plays a very important role in collecting and preserving our national history. This document represents a key period in Australia's history, where the visions and designs for our capital city were imagined and realised.'

David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives of Australia, is also enthusiastic about receiving the document into the Archives' collection.

'A year ago today, another Griffin piece, the annotated legend to the 'View from summit of Mount Ainslie' was reunited with the rest of the competition drawings in the Griffin collection at the National Archives,' said Mr Fricker. 'The National Archives has long held a copy of the document. Now we can truly say that we have a complete collection of key original Griffin items.'

This is a significant discovery in the lead up to the National Archives' next major exhibition, Design 29: Creating a Capital which will be on show during the Centenary of Canberra celebrations in 2013. The exhibition will feature many of the original Griffin renderings, other original artworks submitted as part of various entries in the 1911 Federal Capital Design Competition, and other original documents.

Contact information

  • Tara Nichols (Marketing Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3609 m 0430 026 612 e tara.nichols@naa.gov.au
  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0427 853 664 e elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au
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