Harry Seidler (1923 – 2006)
Harry Seidler was considered to be one of the leading exponents of Modernism in Australia and the first architect to fully express the principles of the Bauhaus in Australia. He died on March 9 at the age of 83. Born in Vienna, an Austrian of Romanian Jewish ancestry, he fled to England when Nazi Germany occupied Austria in 1938. In 1940, he was interned by the British as an enemy alien before being shipped off to another wartime camp in Canada. After his release in 1941, he began studying architecture at the University of Manitoba. His training brought him together with some of the greatest architectural figures of the 20th century, such as Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius, and the painter, Josef Albers. These towering figures were to instill in him his appreciation of Modernism, a cultural movement embracing the realities of 20th century industrial design, offering rational solutions to old problems. In 1948 Seidler moved to Australia, where he continued to present concepts of early 20th century European art movements, combining glass with cube-like forms, with simplicity of form, truth to materials, rational designs, made for the user and not for the wealthy. The façades of his buildings display abstract, asymmetrical patterns influenced by Viennese art movements of the 1920s and 1930s. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Frank Goodman (1917 – 2006)
Frank Goodman, one of the last of Broadway’s vintage press agents who handled the publicity of many Broadway shows and stars, died in New York on February 3 at the age of 89. He was the child of an immigrant couple from Austria – his mother was a housekeeper, his father died when he was two. Mr. Goodman began his career in the 1930s with the Federal Theater Project, where he worked together with Orson Welles and John Housman. He claimed that theater in those days ran on “minimum cash and maximum genius.” From 1939 to 1961, he handled the press for more than fifty Broadway productions – including Gigi with Audrey Hepburn, Gypsy with Ethel Merman, The Night of the Iguana with Bette Davis, and shows by Rogers and Hammerstein. During the second half of the century he worked with Mobil, Xerox and GE during the days of TV productions of Masterpiece Theater, Upstairs, Downstairs, and many others. He was described by former associate, Susan L. Schulman, as “hugely creative. He always had the fire in the belly and could come up with clever angles.” He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.