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Panorama of Sydney Harbour, Panel I, Woolloomooloo to entrance of Parramatta River, Neutral Bay and Fort Denison

Date: c 1907
Dimensions:
Overall: 504 x 4330 mm
Medium: Watercolour paint, linen
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Jeremy Grover in memory of Doris Frost and Dick Binney, conserved with the assistance of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00008634
Place Manufactured:Sydney
Related Place:Parramatta, Neutral Bay, Fort Denison, Woolloomooloo,

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    Description
    This is the first panel of four that together form a panoramic painting by Muriel Binney of Sydney Harbour in 1907. In this particular panel, Binney has depicted Woolloomooloo Bay, Farm Cove to the entrance of the Parramatta River and Neutral Bay to Fort Denison. As in the other panels this particular scene shows an extensive range of different sailing craft from both commercial industries or for leisure. The entire 20 metre scene was entered into the First Australian Exhibition of Women's Work, held in Melbourne in 1907. The complete panorama was later selected for display in the Australian Pavilion at the Franco-British Exhibition in London in 1908 where it was awarded a silver medal.
    SignificanceThe frieze is a rare document of Sydney Harbour in the first half of the 20th century depicting a variety of working and leisure craft indicative of the time. The focus is on the harbour life of boats and navigational markers rather than the landforms or buildings that surround it. Although painted for an exhibition of women’s work, the frieze stands alone as an exceptional example of the aesthetic and technical skill Binney had in an era when maritime painting and panoramas were genres traditionally dominated by men.
    HistoryMuriel Mary Sutherland Binney (1873-1949), was an amateur artist and inventor. She lived at Warren Lodge, Elizabeth Bay, with her surgeon husband Edward and sons John and Richard.

    In 1907, Binney painted a 20-metre-long panorama of Sydney Harbour entitled ‘Sydney Harbour foreshores at sunset’. She produced the work for the First Australian Exhibition of Women’s Work in October 1907, and it was then selected for the Australian Pavilion at the Franco-British Exhibition the following year where it was awarded a silver medal.

    Binney used a variety of working and leisure craft to produce a balanced, harmonious and eye-catching panorama of harbour life. As a panorama it is unusual, completed at a time when most other examples of this genre were photographic. Although Binney did not put a price on her work, she was certainly aware of its commercial potential, and applied to copyright the design in 1907 and to reproduce a fold-out postcard or Christmas card of photographs of the frieze in panoramic format by Henry King. It was inventing rather than arts and crafts that Binney pursued in later years, exhibiting and patenting a cigarette smoker’s complete outfit, a portable shoe stand and travelling case, and a body harness to redistribute body weight when using a crutch.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Panorama von Sydney Harbour, Panel I, Woolloomooloo zum Eingang des Parramatta River, Neutral Bay und Fort Denison

    Assigned title: Panorama van de haven van Sydney, Panel I, Woolloomooloo naar ingang van Parramatta River, Neutral Bay en Fort Denison

    Primary title: Panorama of Sydney Harbour, Panel I, Woolloomooloo to entrance of Parramatta River, Neutral Bay and Fort Denison

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