Collection of archival material relating to the working life of automotive designer/illustrator. Chris Emmerson including documents, such as photographs, illustrations, brochures and , GMH colour charts, magazines, and artefacts, such as car badges and key rings.
Chris Emmerson arrived in Australia from England in 1950 and settled with his family in North Queensland, where he was educated. Always passionate about cars he sketched the new models at the local Holden dealership in Townsville and, learning about the Technical Centre, determined to find a position there. In 1968 he moved to Melbourne, and after demonstrating his skills as an automotive illustrator, joined GMH, working alongside Phillip Zmood, Peter Nankervis, Ken Foletta and Paul Beranger. Here Emmerson created memorable images of new models, such as the Kingswood, Statesman, Caprice and Camira using pen, ink wash, poster colour and pastel on paper. He worked closely with clay modelers, engineers and the fabrication department for 13 years. In 1981 he left Holden to launch his own consultancy business, Emmerson Design, and then later worked with Millard Design (1986-2008) on various projects, including cutaway car illustrations for Toyota. Emmerson also had an influential career as a teacher at RMIT University. In 1985 his work was featured in Design World and this prompted RMIT to invite him to teach in their Industrial Design program where, from 1986 until 1995 he taught students the techniques of rendering and illustration. He retired in 2008.
There are 12 boxes of materials, arranged largely by material type in chronological order. Box 1 has photographs of GMH Holden models, Boxes 2 to 6 hold GMH brochures c1950s to 2003, and also media clippings, copies of Modern Motor, and a small number of brochures relating to Ford, Mazda and GMC Chevrolet. Boxes 7 and 8 hold styling drawings by Emmerson, Box 9 car badges, Box 10 GMH colour charts, and Boxes 11 and 12 art work, including a railway interior.