Black and white photograph of Americal jaz performer Louis Armstrong performing, circa 1950s. Armstrong toured Africa in 1956 and 1960-61. In this later tour, he travelled to Rhodesia, where Lindsay Motherwell might have seen him play or taken this photograph. Lindsay travelled in Africa between 1951 and 1961, and again from 1965 to 1969. He was a musician and a jazz fan, so he would have loved to see Louis in Africa.

Sylvia Boyes (a South African-born orphan) and Lindsay Motherwell (a Melbourne-born drummer) met in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967 through their theatre connections. They fell in love but due to apartheid laws were forced to leave South Africa to marry in London. They subsequently relocated permanently to Melbourne in 1970.

Description of Content

Man holding trumpet down by his side and talking/singing into a microphone

Physical Description

Black and white photograph


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides a significant opportunity to represent political and personal freedom as a motivation for migrating to Australia within the international context of both apartheid in South Africa and the end of the White Australia policy in Australia. The personal narrative is well documented and the objects provide a material way to follow the lives of both Lindsay and Sylvia, both separately and where they coincide in South Africa and onwards together to Melbourne. While this is ultimately a love story, it plays out through the collection against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa, sixties London and an increasingly multicultural Australia.

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