Alternative Name: Paint Box

Art case with pale blue painted exterior which was owned and used by Mirka Mora in her art studio in Tanner Street Richmond from the year 2000. Mirka located there after having lived in a number of residences and studios in Melbourne CBD, Toorak, and St Kilda. The case contains painting materials.

This is one of a collection of artist's materials, sewing equipment, clothing and personal items relating to the life and work of iconic Melbourne artist Mirka Mora, sourced from her Richmond artist studio in 2019.

Mirka reflects in her book 'Love and Clutter': 'My watercolour boxes vary between wood, metal and plastic. The small ones for travelling are as divine as makeup cases and are true friends.' ('Love and Clutter', 2003, p.44)

Physical Description

Timber box painted pale blue, with dark varnished interior. Box originally contained a box of charcoal, a Lefranc Bourgeois paint box, several loose paints, a heart-shaped biscuit cutter with red paint and gold glitter around edge, two erasers, a block of wood, a pen, a clip, and several paintbrushes.


Statement of Historical Significance:
There are few names as synonymous with Melbourne's cultural and artistic life as Mirka Mora. Artist and café and restaurant owner, her larger than life personality and her very accessible and public art dominated Melbourne's cultural landscape for over 50 years. Mirka was a post World War II migrant and a leader in the formative years of Melbourne artistic and cultural urban development. Mirka embodied the spirit of bohemian Melbourne for decades and this diverse collection provides an entry point to appreciating the rich life of a complex, multi-faceted woman. The material represents a migrant, cultural and artistic life, revealing her artistic processes, influences and style,and brings the personal side of Mirka to life.

This collection also complements one of the migration collection's strongest sub-collections, the Immigration and Artistic Practice collection. This collection draws on artworks, materials, equipment, migration objects and oral histories to explore how Victorian migrant artist's adapt, develop and transform their artistic practice within a new social, cultural and artistic environment. It provides evidence of the richness provided to the documenting of migrant artist's lives, not just through their artworks, but through the materials showing how their practice evolved over time.

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