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Tag: Australian history

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Colony

Friday, May 4th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

If I seem to be constantly writing in praise of the National Gallery of Victoria this isn’t because the grass is always greener interstate. It’s because the NGV has been attending so well to the fundamental business of what a gallery should be doing. Arguably the most important task is to provide a vibrant program […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Encounters

Thursday, February 11th, 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

‘Civilisation’ is a concept that has changed beyond recognition over the past century. To the pioneering ethnographers of the Victorian era, tribal cultures were merely stages on the way to the civilised state. Viewed as backward, impoverished and superstitious, it was accepted that such communities would wither and die as they fell under the spell […]

Art Essays

Robert Hughes, 1938 – 2012

Sunday, August 19th, 2012 Australian Art, Blog, General Art Essays, International Art,

When Robert Hughes died last week, I spent much of the day on the telephone. Inevitably, the passing of this great, controversial figure was a media event of the first order. Among the mass of small comments I had to produce, the Sydney Morning Herald asked for a quick 500 words. The following day the […]

Art Essays

Impressions: Painting Light & Life

Saturday, February 4th, 2012 Art Essays, Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A survey of portraiture by Australian artists of the late nineteenth century would seem to be long overdue. Despite the institutional obsession with all things contemporary, the works of the so-called Australian Impressionists – Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Fred McCubbin and Charles Conder – remain the most popular drawcards in our public collections. The problem […]

Art Essays

From Bondi to Broken Hill

Friday, May 1st, 1998 General Art Essays,

It was in the middle of a London winter that I first became aware of the great, abiding seductiveness of Sydney. The occasion was a trip to the movies on one of those typically grey days when a little watery sunshine appears at about 10 o’clock and is gone by half-past three. The air was […]