“Til You Drop” shopping history @ State Library of Victoria

“Til You Drop” shopping history @ State Library of Victoria

The free ’til you drop exhibition celebrates Melbourne’s passion for shopping, from the Paris end of Collins Street to the local corner store.

The exhibition at the State Library of Victoria explores Melbourne’s social history through changes in our shopping habits from early settlement and the marvellous Melbourne of the 1880s to today.

’til you drop links shopping with cultural and social developments such as increasing leisure time, immigration and the suburban sprawl.

It takes a nostalgic look at famous shops like EW Cole’s Book Arcade, the much-loved Georges of Collins Street and the iconic Myer department store, as well as visiting the local supermarket, suburban mega-centre and modern convenience store.

Melbourne’s multicultural heritage is reflected in images of the European deli, Vietnamese butcher and Chinese importers.

The exhibition celebrates how and why Melburnians love to shop, with a special focus on fashion, food and the home. It reveals the indulgent side of shopping – the exclusive stores, luxury goods and seductive advertisements that feed our addiction to pleasure and style. It also acknowledges the downsides of shopping: crime, consumerism and pollution.

’til you drop will appeal to a wide audience, from history and nostalgia buffs to those who live to shop.

Items on display range from a 19th-century cash register to ephemera such as wartime ration cards and Buckley & Nunn shopping receipts. It also features many classic photographs that evoke Melbourne’s changing style over the last century

Friday 11 December – Sunday 31 October, 2010

shop 4

Other highlights include:

* a short film that explores contemporary Melbourne’s hottest shopping spots – from young designers and hidden arcades to favourite stores and markets

* images of ultra-modern 1970s suburban home decor

* iconic Wolfgang Sievers photographs of Collins Street in the 1960s

* superbly illustrated fashion catalogues from Foy & Gibson

* original design sketches of 1920s flapper fashions for Manton’s department store

* early colour postcards of famous shopping strips such as Bourke, Collins, Smith and Chapel streets

* persuasive advertisements for everything from luxury cosmetics to Ovaltine

Share your thoughts