Grace Cossington Smith painted this work following a visit to the musical play 'Chu-Chin-Chow, which was written and produced by the Australian actor-manager Oscar Asche and which broke all records for long running when he opened it in London in August 1916. The play ran until July 1921 when it closed in Sydney.
It opened in Australia at the Tivoli Theatre, Melbourne, 11 December 1920 and was presented by Hugh D McIntosh. It travelled to Adelaide, and opened in Sydney at the Grand Opera House on Easter Saturday, 26 March 1921. It was always advertised as "an extravaganza of the Orient".
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2001
An Extravaganza of the Orient
oil on canvas on paperboard
49.9 x 47.5 cm board; 60.7 x 58.1 x 4.8 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, black ink "G Cossington Smith". Not dated.
Not on display
© Estate of Grace Cossington Smith
Where the work was made
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Forty-second Annual Exhibition of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales (1921), Exhibition Gallery Department of Public Instruction, Sydney, 02 Aug 1921 -
Acquisitions 1967, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Mar 1968–01 Apr 1968
Grace Cossington Smith (1973-74):
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 15 Jun 1973–15 Jul 1973
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 06 Sep 1973–04 Oct 1973
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth 06 Dec 1973–02 Jan 1974
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 11 Jan 1974–10 Feb 1974
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 26 Mar 1974–28 Apr 1974
Grace Cossington Smith: a retrospective exhibition (2005):
Sydney Moderns, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Jul 2013–07 Oct 2013
Referenced in 6 publications
Deborah Hart, Grace Cossington Smith, 'Cultural landscapes', pg. 56-75, Canberra, 2005, 59 (colour illus.).
Bruce James, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 40-51, Sydney, 2000, 51.
Bruce James, Grace Cossington Smith, 'Centre of a city', pg. 53-60, Sydney, 1990, 54 (illus.). figure no. 24
Daniel Thomas, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 510-521, Sydney, Jan 1970, 515 (illus.), 519.
Daniel Thomas, Art and Australia, 'Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 300-312, Sydney, Mar 1967.
Editor Unknown (Editor), 1967 Acquisitions, Sydney, 1967, 20. cat.no. 24