Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Florence Broadhurst

Australian, Florence Broadhurst was born over a century ago but her lifestyle and story are very much today. In her almost 80 years on this planet, in a time where it wasn't uncommon for a woman to never have a career, she managed to have close to a dozen. Metamorphosing from one career and city to another in the blink of an eye. Some may remember her for her work on the stage, in her dress shop, running a trucking company, or fighting for woman's rights. Most remember her for her exquisite wallpaper designs. 

I have been holding on to the vintage screen (at top) for a few years now. At first it was the colors, not the pattern, that attracted me to it. Over time I have memorized each little bug, butterfly and palm leave as I stare at it in its temporary home by my bed. My anonymous little treasure until its international revival revealed its origin.

Established in 1959, Broadhurst's wallpaper business was an instant and overwhelming success. Exporting to America, Peru, Paris, Norway, and the Middle East she monopolized the high end market. "Vigorous designs for modern living". Although over 500 designs make up her collection it is but a small few that are printed for wallpaper and fabric today. What a shame!

Her life was complicated; full of passion, color, travel, and reinvention. All brought to an end by her (unsolved) murder at 78 years old. 


Jeana Sohn said...

ahh it's very inspiring and beautiful! thanks for sharing this. : )

Heather said...

oooh la la. i love these. i love the yellow one.

Dana Wynne & Raul Cordova said...

I love the black and white ones, gets me thinking...where can find the ones that are still in print?