28 March, 2007

The story of Australian printmaking 1801-2005

The story of Australian printmaking 1801-2005
30 March – 3 June 2007

selected exhibition works from the NGA collection

Roger Butler has been very busy. As Senior Curator of Australian Prints and Drawings, he is hosting a reunion of the class of 1801–2005, gathering together old and new friends from across the Gallery’s extensive collection of Australian prints to share with you The story of Australian printmaking.

The celebrations will begin on 30 March and there will be many familiar faces amongst the crowd – John Brack’s stormy-faced Third daughter, armfuls of Margaret Preston bouquets and frog-chorused Olsen waterholes – along with some guests of honour that many of you will not have met before as they have only recently moved into the Gallery or have previously been too fragile to attend such events.

But a get-together like this occurs only occurs so often, and this one has been twenty-five years in the making – with the guest list showing the extent of the journey the Gallery has taken since Roger began in 1981 filled with an enthusiastic vision for the future of the nation’s collection. Over the years, with the support of different directors and the Gallery Council, and assisted with generous funding from philanthropist Gordon Darling, he has worked steadily to fill the gallery with historical rarities and works by overlooked artists, expanding the collection to over 36,000 prints, posters and illustrated books.

With so many significant prints to choose from for this exhibition, Roger has focused on a shortlist of almost 600 individuals who have played significant roles in this (hi)story – and has invited them to tell you their tales of exploration and adventure, of innovation and desperation, of fears well founded and hopes realised.


The 6th Australian print symposium
Convened by Roger Butler, curator of the exhibition. National Gallery of Australia 30 March – 1 April 2007
Symposium program >>

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