This blog provides information, stories, links and events relating to and promoting the history of the Wimmera district.
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Thursday, 18 December 2014

On the stage in Watchem

Back in August 2013 the blog entry ‘Drawing the curtain’  related to stage curtains, the section of the stage which sets the scene. These backdrops were works of art, huge canvases often depicting rural/garden scenes or town/cityscapes. 

One of the most prolific artists of stage curtains in Victoria was scenic stage painter Barry Henry George Jaggers (1869-1940). Originally from New Zealand where he painted over 80 public concert halls, he was engaged by the government of New South Wales to decorate public buildings for the Commonwealth (Federation) celebrations.
Moving to Victoria, Jaggers painted a number of scenic backdrops for Mechanics' Institutes in Gippsland, and Central Victoria. And as we’ve just found in Watchem too.
Below is the stage curtain he painted in 1928 – “In the Rockies”, which is still in use in the Watchem Public Hall.

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