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Girl's fancy dress garment, hand-painted with cartoons and caricatures showing the work of the Heidelberg Unemployment Bureau

Object type
Fancy dress costumes

Object number
1986.0002.0001

Description
Girl's fancy dress garment, hand-painted with cartoons and caricatures showing the work of the Heidelberg Unemployment Bureau.

Collection name
Patricia Worthington collection

Collection statement of significance
The Patricia Worthington collection consists of a girl's fancy dress garment, hand-painted with cartoons and caricatures advertising the activities of the Heidelberg Unemployment Bureau. The dress was made by Patricia's mother out of an old curtain and painted with old oil based paints by her father in about 1931. Eight year old Patricia wore it to a local fancy dress party in a bid to win the cash prize for best costume.

The Australian experience of the Great Depression during 1929 to 1932 was severe. Unemployment peaked at 32% and without work and a regular income many men found it difficult to support their families. Families lost their homes and many men became itinerant workers, as charity groups and soup kitchens attempted to feed masses of hungry people .In Victoria, the Heidelberg Unemployment Bureau met weekly to assist those in the local community find work. It offered jobs and social activities to the community at a time of great need. The dress represents the desperation of one family to obtain money for their family to buy essential items: they planned to buy shoes for Patricia with the prize money. Despite their hopes, the costume won the prize for "most original" fancy dress – the prize was a book voucher

Seamstress
Mrs Chalcraft

Artist
Mr Thomas R. Chalcraft

Place made
Heidelberg, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Date of production
1930 - 1935
Approximate

Wearer
Mrs Patricia E. Worthington

Subject
Heidelberg Unemployment Bureau

Place of event
Heidelberg, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Barkly Hall

Date worn
1933

Materials
Textile - non specific, Paint - non specific

Dimensions
Width: 690mm
Height: 670mm



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