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Lewis & Skinner archive exhibition at the Library

The exhibition by Dr Stefan Schutt, research program leader at the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, Victoria University, features historical hand-painted signs of Melbourne firm Lewis & Skinner that he rescued from a Footscray demolition site in 2012.

The exhibition runs from Thursday 13 February to Thursday April 17 on level 2 of the Footscray Park library and includes:

  • an aerial map of inner and western Melbourne showing signs painted by signwriting firm Lewis & Skinner, mostly in the 1950s
  • job sheets, contracts, agreements and drafts such as Cadbury’s Bournville Cocoa.

Dr Stefan Schutt said that the hand-painted signs were reminders of lives long forgotten or destroyed by social and economic change.

"These signs tell us how old inner-urban communities used to live, shop, travel, eat and meet."

To study the history surrounding the documents from Lewis & Skinner, Dr Schutt benefitted from the State Library of Victoria’s Berry Family Fellowship, which gave him full access to the collections of the State Library of Victoria. Additionally, the Lewis & Skinner archive development was funded by the Telematics Trust.

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