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Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz is a former Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He has published on the design work of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, and is a regular contributor to ABR.

Christopher Menz reviews 'Phillippa’s Home Baking' by Philippa Grogan and Richard Cornish, and 'Sweet' by Alison Thompson

September 2014, no. 364 01 September 2014
The Australian sweet tooth and ongoing love of cakes and desserts is evident in two recent publications. Both cover the basics as well as offering more ambitious fare; they are good places to start if this is your thing. Phillippa Grogan’s eponymous pâtisserie in Melbourne, established in 1994, offers the type of baked goods presented in this publication: breads, cakes and biscuits, quiches an ... (read more)

Mid-Century Modern | National Gallery Victoria

August 2014, no. 363 01 August 2014
The last time the National Gallery of Victoria devoted an exhibition to furniture was in 1988 (Featherston Chairs), and only the most dedicated design aficionados will remember the gallery’s most recent group show of furniture design: One Hundred Chairs, back in 1974. Mid-Century Modern, broad in its ambition, covers Australian furniture design in the thirty-year immediate postwar period. It for ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'William Morris: Textiles' by Linda Parry

October 2013, no. 355 27 September 2013
Of the innumerable books on the design work of William Morris (1834–96) that have appeared since the 1980s, the one that has remained the best and most informative is Linda Parry’s William Morris: Textiles (1983), published early on in her career as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Since then, there has been much new research on Morris and many exhibitions of his work (at least six ... (read more)

Stephen Benwell: Virtuoso in Clay

ABR Arts 17 September 2013
Entering the current Heide exhibition Stephen Benwell: Beauty, Anarchy, Desire – A Retrospective for the first time is quite an experience. Dispersed left and right on two enormous rectangular tables is a chronological survey of the work of one of Australia’s finest ceramic artists. The overview of a remarkable career can be examined in detail as the viewer moves from work to work up and down ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Making Melbourne's Monuments' by Catherine Moriarty

July–August 2013, no. 353 26 June 2013
When Paul Raphael Montford (1868–1938) settled in Melbourne in 1923, one press report claimed that he was ‘one of England’s best-known sculptors’, but despite having created works for the façade of the Victoria and Albert Museum and for Westminster Abbey, as well as numerous public sculptures in Australia, his work is not well known in either country. His reputation has always been oversh ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Extravagant Inventions' by Wolfram Koeppe

July–August 2013, no. 353 26 June 2013
Anyone who has seen one of Röntgen’s ingenious writing desks, where at a single touch many springs and hinges come into motion, so that the writing surface and implements, pigeon holes for letters and money appear simultaneously, or in quick succession … can imagine how that palace unfolded, into which my sweet companion now drew me.   – Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years, 1 ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Michel Roux: The Collection' by Michel Roux and 'A Lifetime of Cooking, Teaching and Writing from the French Kitchen' by Diane Holuigue

March 2013, no. 349 07 March 2013
Here are two welcome additions to a long list of cookery publications in Australia promoting Gallic cuisine. French or French-style cookery in this country has come a long way since Ted Moloney and Deke Coleman’s charming but slight Oh, for a French Wife! was published by Ure Smith in 1952. Both Michel Roux: The Collection and Diane Holuigue’s A Lifetime of Cooking, Teaching and Writing from t ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Government House Sydney' by Ann Toy and Robert Griffin

March 2013, no. 349 07 March 2013
Not that many Australian houses lend themselves to being the subject of a 240-page monograph. Whatever their architectural or historical merit, usually there is not enough material to warrant more than a chapter in a larger volume. Our government houses are different: not only do numerous documents and photographs survive in public records, but furnishings survive, and there is also the history of ... (read more)