Free, Booking Required


Fri 25 Mar
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Fri 25 Mar
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm


Fashion & Textiles View Room, meet at the Information Desk
National Gallery of Victoria, Saint Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC, Australia


Accessible bathroom Accessible parking nearby All Gender Bathroom Assistance Animals Welcome

Rangga by Frances Burke, image copyright RMIT University.

Frances Burke: Designer of Modern Textiles Past Event

Presented by Dr Nanette Carter and Robyn Oswald-Jacobs

This event is a collaboration between Dr Nanette Carter, independent scholar Robyn Oswald-Jacobs, authors of Frances Burke: Designer of Modern Textiles and curators of the NGV’s Department of Fashion and Textiles. Carter and Oswald-Jacobs will lead a group discussion focused on examples of the work of Australia’s leading textile designer of the post-war period chosen from the collection and made available for this special viewing by NGV staff.

As a young woman, Burke chose to ‘design the world she wanted’. During World War II when imported printed fabrics were scarce, she sold dress fabrics and hemmed lengths of furnishing fabric in her bright modern designs allowing Melbourne women to ‘make do’ in style. Afterwards Burke continued her business designing and printing while lecturing, writing about design, advocating for design through her work as a founding member of the Society of Designers for Industry from 1947 and collaborating with leading architects including Sir Roy Grounds.


Nanette Carter 

A design historian specialising in Australian design, Dr Nanette Carter is an adjunct scholar at the School of Design and Architecture, Swinburne University. Nanette and Robyn Oswald-Jacobs shared the Redmond Barry Fellowship awarded by the State Library of Victoria and the University of Melbourne 2019-2020 for their research into Frances Burke.

Robyn Oswald-Jacobs 

An independent scholar and a graduate of the Textile Design program at RMIT University, Robyn Oswald-Jacobs completed research Master’s degree on the career of Frances Burke. This project led to the establishment of the Textile Resource Collection: Australian Fashion and Textile Design – the foundation for RMIT University’s Design Archives.