Object: Mirror ball
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Unknown, 1930s, New Zealand
|Materials||glass, lead alloy|
x 550mm (Width)
x 550mm (Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 2006|
This mirror ball glittered above dances in the Regent Ballroom, Cuba Street, Wellington, from the 1930s to 50s.
Saturday night dances were held during World War II, including a 'welcome home' dance club for servicemen. The Regent Ballroom was one of the 12 or so clubs in Wellington that catered for servicemen during the war.
Between 1942 and 1944, many of the servicemen going to dances at the Regent Ballroom would have been American.Local women welcomed them as attentive dance partners. Couples would foxtrot or jitterbug to swing bands, or dance to Glenn Miller hits or the Andrews Sisters (such as ‘The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B’). When the ballroom closed in March 1954, possibly around one million people had danced there, many finding romance and later marrying.
This mirror ball is an unusual surviving example of art deco design. The term art deco originated in the 1960s, but refers to a style from the 1920s and 30s. The sleek designs combined traditional elegance and modern materials in styles that often celebrated the modern and mechanised world. Art deco styles found their way into fine and decorative arts, fashion, film, photography, transport, and commercial products.
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