The Cardamone Collection

In 2014 Tony Cardamone donated a working lifetime of design resources to the new national Textile and Fashion Hub in the Centre for Fashion and Creative Industries at Bendigo Kangan Institute. The Hub is appropriately sited in Richmond, the heart of Melbourne’s fashion and furniture design industry. This extensive collection, the Cardamone Collection, is the first building block of the new national textile and design archive.

The Cardamone Collection contains some 7,000 textile and wallpaper sample books and hangers and approximately 1,000 hardback design books.The sample books and hangers represent the furnishing fabric and wallpaper available in Australia during the last quarter of the twentieth century and up to the present. Each book/hanger contains numerous textile swatches, representing a vast array of designs and colour-ways. The size, nature and scope of the collection adds to the national estate of important textile collections, such as those at the Art Gallery of South Australia (Adelaide), Australian National Gallery Canberra, Powerhouse Museum (Sydney), National Gallery of Victoria and National Trust properties and historic homes around Australia.

The primary significance of the Cardamone Collection to the Bendigo Kangan Institute is that it allows today’s students to see real examples of fabric design, which will help inform their progress as the next generation of Australian designers.

However, the collection will be invaluable not just to students but also to curators, historians, archivists, architects, film and theatre directors, costumiers, fashion designers and interior designers and the many others who can mine the rich historic nature of the collection.

“The collection is a reference library of furnishings, textiles and wallpapers for the period. It would be impossible to assemble an equivalent collection from individual manufacturers or agents - the ‘runs’ of work of major manufacturers appears to be remarkably comprehensive. Its significance goes beyond the practice of the individual decorator.” - Report by esteemed historian, conservator, architect and author, Dr James Broadbent, 26th January, 2006.

It is also hoped that the collection will be dynamic and will grow with contributions from current fabric houses and their agents in Australia.

Interested in the Cardamone Collection? Contact us!

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