Pansy ‘La Milo’ Montague was an actress from Melbourne who found fame and fortune posing on stage as classical statues, clad in little more than white paint. She debuted her 'living statue' repertoire in 1905, and developed over 20 poses, including an apparently armless Venus de Milo. By 1907 she was touring her show around the world, earning nearly £5,000 a year. Reviewers praised the accuracy and credibility of Montague’s poses. Audiences revelled in the sensational opportunity to peer at a naked woman under the guise of artistic interest. As one critic put it, ‘audiences roll[ed] up in reverse ratio to the drapery’.
This talk will examine Montague's stratospheric rise, culminating in an appearance before a crowd of 50,000 people – and probe her mysterious disappearance. It will also place her productions within a long history of poses plastiques (living statue) performances, both in Australia and overseas. A selection of treasures from State Library Victoria and private collections will accompany the talk.
ABOUT KATIE FLACK
In 2011, Katie Flack (Project Manager, Legacy Data, State Library Victoria) was awarded the Library's Jane Nicholas Staff Fellowship to research Australia’s ‘Modern Milo’.
All are welcome. Entry is free, however bookings are required. As numbers are extremely limited, we ask that you notify us if you need to cancel. Contact us here»
Theatre Heritage Australia presents
Katie Flack on Pansy "La Milo" Montague
Guest speaker: Katie Flack
6pm, Wednesday 5 September 2018
State Library Victoria**
Entry is FREE! but bookings are required
**State Library Victoria is located at 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne