Annan Fabrics were part of an emergence in the 1940s and 1950s of a distinctive Australian design style inspired by Australian flora and fauna, and Aboriginal art and culture. Customers included Qantas who used the designs to brand Australian tourism.

Ms Petersen said the designs were highly contemporary and would not be out place in a Mosman shop today.

She said Annan Fabrics was forced out of business in 1954 when they were not paid for street banners for the royal visit by Queen Elizabeth.

Vivien Leigh bought one of their fabric designs Banksia from the Mosman shop during a visit to Sydney in 1948 when she and Sir Laurence Olivier stayed briefly in a flat in Cremorne. Field Marshall Montgomery chose a kangaroo hunt fabric and ordered 20 yards be sent from Mosman.

The exhibition is at Mosman Art Gallery from September 4 to October 10 with an exhibition of Vande pottery, inspired by Australian themes.



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