Curator’s Pick: The Canberra That Could Have been

Classes, Lessons, Workshops and Talks

18 Apr 2020

In 1916, Walter Scott Griffiths gave a series of illuminated lectures examining and critiquing Walter Burley Griffin’s design for the city of Canberra.

Griffiths, a survey draftsperson and town planner, had a longstanding interest in the development of Canberra.

In 1911, together with Robert Charles Coulter and Charles Henry Caswell, he had entered the Federal Capital City Design Competition. Their competition entry placed fourth, however the government purchased the design and adopted alter their plan for Canberra’s drainage and sewerage.

Griffiths maintained his passionate interest in the design and construction of Canberra and over the years made several presentations on the subject.

By using a set of 24 glass lantern slides, containing detailed architectural drawings in his presentation, Griffiths was able to project his design for Canberra onto a screen for his audience, allowing him to compare and contrast his design ideas with those of Walter Burley Griffin’s.

The NFSA has acquired Griffiths’ lantern slides, so come join us for a conversation with NFSA Curator Tamara Osicka and Canberra historian David Headon about these intriguing items from the collection.


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Event Times

18 Apr 2020

Once Only Event


National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

McCoy Circuit, Acton, 2601

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