Housing a permanent collection, Reflecting Canberra, and a variety of local, national and international exhibitions, CMAG provides a refreshing insight to the integration of social history and the visual arts.
Photograph The O’Briens in front of their shop
on the Lawns, Manuka, c. 1989
Harold ‘Mick’ and Mattie O’Brien’s Hairdresser & Sports Store
operated on the Lawns at Manuka from 1934 to 1998. The era
of that kind of mixed business has passed, as have shop fronts
with stained glass frieze and deep-set display windows. In this
photograph of their business, which appears remarkably
unchanged into its sixth decade, the O’Brien couple – Mattie on
the left (1915-2005) and Mick on the right – (1913-2000) are
standing with their daughter
Joy (born 1942).
The O’Brien’s sign is material evidence of a business that spanned 64 years of Canberra’s urban history. Its owners, Mattie and Mick O’Brien, come from family whose story extends back to the pastoral settlement of the Limestone Plains in the nineteenth century.
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