Monday, July 28, 2008

French Maritime Artist

These artists thought that if their work was exhibited fairly, it would gain acceptance. They sought favorable viewing conditions such as good lighting and ample space between paintings, and they also wanted to exhibit more works than the two allowed by Salon rules. In 1874, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Morisot, and Sisley led a number of friends to form an association and publicly presented the first group exhibition independent of the official Salon. They called themselves "Artists, Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers, etc., Inc." to avoid descriptive titles and pejorative epithets. Critics noted their unorthodox style and especially a work exhibited by Monet with the title Impression, Sunrise (Musée Marmottan, Paris) and sarcastically dubbed them "impressionists." The group, which presented eight exhibitions in all, survived until 1886. By then the core impressionists were beginning to attain a degree of popular success. The exhibition strategy that had been essential to their enterprise was no longer necessary, and the group disbanded.

The audacious impressionist venture had overturned contemporary artistic institutions and freed artists to explore new forms of expression. A variety of styles arose as the impressionist movement concluded. Postimpressionism, usually associated with Seurat, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, was neither a style nor a movement; rather, postimpressionism was differentiated by the largely symbolic and imaginary sources of inspiration that supplanted the naturalist and realist impulses that had shaped impressionism.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Art Gallery of New South Wales - Australian collection

The Art Gallery of New South Wales has three main curatorial departments: Australian Art (including Aboriginal art), Asian Art and Western (international) Art. This page breaks these departments into more specific collection areas. In Highlights, click on the arrows to move from one highlight to the next and get a quick impression of the scope of that collection area. Alternatively, click View Slide Show, and the highlights will be automatically displayed in sequence, with an 8 second interval. Click on Search to do a search relating to that particular collection area.

Australian collection

The Australian collection provides a comprehensive overview of Australian art in all media from early colonial times to the present. There is also a separate selection under Aboriginal Art. The old courts on the ground floor display a strong representation of some of the most loved Australian painters and sculptors of the 19th century, including national icons such as Roberts, McCubbin and Streeton, while on the other side of the entrance court in the Captain Cook wing, you can find an impressive collection of key works of Australian modernism. The Aboriginal collection can be found on the third level in the Yiribana gallery as well as having a presence in the twentieth century Australian wing. This display reflects the long history of traditional art across the continent, and contemporary practice and innovation in all media.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


As the century began, the academic style favored by the official Salon still dictated the success of artists and public taste. But soon that began to change. Realists turned convention on its head to give heroic character to everyday subjects. Manet scandalized the public with his images of modern life. Impressionists tried to capture fleeting effects of light and atmosphere.

Painting in the first half of the nineteenth century was dominated by Ingres and Delacroix, the first continuing in the neoclassical tradition in his emphasis on linear purity and the second championing the expressive, romantic use of color as opposed to line. Both significantly influenced a new generation of painters who sought to communicate their own personal responses to the political upheavals of their time.

For two hundred years, the Academy, the School of Fine Arts, and the Salon, the official exhibition, had fostered the French national artistic tradition. But by the middle of the nineteenth century the academic system had degenerated.

During the 1860s and 1870s, the artists who later became known as the impressionists concluded that the smoothly idealized presentation of academic art was formulaic and artificial. Their relatively loose, open brushwork underscored their freedom from the meticulously detailed academic manner. They were innovative in their subject matter, too, choosing motifs that did not teach or preach, such as landscape or ordinary activities of daily life, which were considered trivial or degenerate by the Academy. Often juries, dominated by academic attitudes, rejected the young artists' paintings altogether.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

The Commission of Fine Arts, established in 1910 by Act of Congress, is charged with giving expert advice to the President, Congress and the heads of departments and agencies of the Federal and District of Columbia governments on matters of design and aesthetics, as they affect the Federal interest and preserve the dignity of the nation's capital. The Commission consists of seven "well qualified judges of the fine arts" who are appointed by the President and serve for a term of four years; they may also be reappointed. The Commission provides advice to the U. S. Mint on the design of coins and medals, and approves the site and design of national memorials, both in the United States and on foreign soil, in accordance with the Commemorative Works Act or the American Battle Monuments Act, whichever applies.

Within the District of Columbia community, the Commission advises on design matters affecting the Historic District of Georgetown, under the Old Georgetown Act, as well as other private sector areas adjacent to federal interests, under the Shipstead-Luce Act.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Indonesian Ceramic Pieces Arrive at MAGNT

A total of 199 fragile ceramic pieces have just arrived at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in preparation for the second triennial Arafura Craft Exchange Trajectory of Memories, Tradition and Modernity in Ceramics which opens in July. MAGNT Curator Australian Visual Arts and Crafts Allison Gray said the works, mainly from Yogyakarta, Indonesia arrived in a sea container safe and sound and staff have just completed the unpacking process. “This exhibition has been three years in the making, so it’s great to see all the hard work of the artists, Guest Indonesian Curator Sudjud Dartanto and museum staff come to fruition with the arrival of the pieces,” Ms Gray said. “Trajectory of Memories, Tradition and Modernity in Ceramics, is based on artists living in neighbouring countries occupying the same Asia-Pacific region, and their responses to living traditions, which are continually evolving as we move through modernity, but it’s also an opportunity to simply enjoy the artistic achievements of Indonesian and Australian ceramicists.”

Guest Curator, Sudjud Dartanto said there were three different statements visible in the pieces from the seven artists. “First is affirmation of tradition, which is articulated in decorative motifs seen in Sudiyati, Arisuta and Ottley’s pieces, inspired by customary symbols these works show that this expression takes different shapes as artists’ choices are affected by a variety of factors,” Mr Dartano said.

“The second statement is subversion – the positioning of one’s personal stories as the antithesis of grand narratives – as reflected in the works of Titarubi and Orchard’s works, and lastly the third theme is the tendency to flirt with signism, which can be seen in the works of Asmudjo and Doolan who display a playful approach to the various idioms of modernity.”

Ms Gray said the exhibition will feature works from four Indonesian artists and three Australian artists, including local Darwin ceramicist Harvey Ottley. “Harvey uses a really interesting technique of introducing horse hair at the point of hot temperature in the firing, which results in the line pattern of her ceramic works,” Ms Gray said.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Housed within the walls of the City of San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium is a park partner and a world-renowned museum and educational center with 650 science, art, and human perception exhibits. Founded in 1969 by Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, the Exploratorium's mission is "to create a culture of learning through innovative environments, programs, and tools that help people nurture their curiosity about the world around them." Visitors of all ages flock to the museum.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The National Gallery of Art copyist program has been in operation since the Gallery opened in 1941. A permit issued by the registrar's office is required for copying works of art in oil or any other liquid medium. The Gallery provides permit holders with an easel, stool, and drop cloth; private easels are not allowed. Visitors may sketch with pencils or other dry media in the galleries without a permit.

To participate in the copyist program, applicants must meet all requirements outlined in the National Gallery of Art "Rules Governing the Copying of Works of Art" and agree to an interview and a security background check; they must acknowledge in writing their acceptance of the rules. A packet of materials will be mailed to you within seven business days. The issue of a copyist permit does not in any way constitute the National Gallery of Art's endorsement of a copyist's work.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

American Artist and Water Reclamation

In the late 1960s, the Bureau of Reclamation embarked on a program to present its accomplishments to the public through the medium of art. Under the direction of John DeWitt of the Commissioner's Office in Washington D.C., and Dr. Lloyd Goodrich, advisory director of the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York City, 40 of America's most prominent artists were commissioned to visit Reclamation's water resource development sites throughout the Western United States and record their impressions on canvas. The artists were given a free hand to depict what ever they choose so long as the subject matter pertained to Reclamation's program - the development of the West's water resources for irrigation, hydro power generation, recreation, water conservation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. The artists were welcome to use whatever medium and style they wished, with spectacular results ranging from the abstract depiction of irrigated fields along the lower Colorado River as seen by Richard Diebenkorn, to Norman Rockwell's portrait of a Native American family overlooking Glen Canyon Dam, to Anton Refregier's scenes of construction activities at Grand Coulee Dam.

When the project was completed, more than 375 pieces of art had been created. In the early 1970s, many of the pieces were displayed to the public in a traveling exhibit circulated by the Smithsonian Institution entitled "The American Artist and Water Reclamation." Although many of the pieces were returned to the artists, Reclamation maintains a collection of about 200 pieces. Many of the pieces in Reclamation's collection can be viewed in a number of places including the Interior Building in Washington D.C., and the visitor centers at Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The ART in Embassies Program

promotes the cultural identity of America’s art and artists by borrowing original works of art by U.S. citizens for display in U.S. embassy residences worldwide. Each ART exhibition is developed collaboratively between a United States ambassador and one of our curators. We select both image-based and abstract work in all media.

What is the length of a loan?The length of a loan is approximately two and one-half to three years, which coincides with the average length of an ambassador’s tenure.

Who arranges and pays for shipping and insurance?ART in Embassies hires professional fine art handlers to assemble, pack, crate and safely ship works of art to and from each embassy. ART insures each work during its transit to and from the embassy and while it is on exhibit at the residence.

Are lenders compensated in any way?Lenders are not compensated financially. Their participation is documented in ART exhibition publications and/or on the ART web site. A wall label accompanies each work of art and identifies both the artist and lender.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Artists Village Show

15 August to 5 October 2008

The Artists Village: 20 years On addresses many issues concerning the history, or rather, memories of TAV. History encompasses verifiable events and accounts of those events. The reciprocal relationship between memory, forgetting, and history questions and reveals how remembering and forgetting alters our perception of historical experience and the production of discourses. The dynamics of individual and collective social memories of TAV artists during the Ulu Sembawang period and the Post-Ulu periods offer multiple entry points to our understanding of TAV. Other forms of memories such as memories that have been written and archived brings to the fore the role of infrastructural memory in the form of museums, archives, monuments and other sites of memories in the construction of historical narratives.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bareki - Sydney Harbour tug boat

Built to a WWII Australian tugboat design at Goat Island shipyard on Sydney Harbour for the Maritime Services Board 40 years ago, Bareki is now a museum workboat and assists with handling the vessels in the National Maritime collection. Particulars,

Builder MSB Goat Island Shipyard, Sydney

Launched - c 1966

Length Overall - 12.39 m

Beam - 4.36 m

Draft - 2.13 m

Propulsion - Detroit 12V71 diesel, (340 kW)

Construction - Carvel planked on sawn frames

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Marine Painting

The impressionists favored another aspect of marine painting--that of leisure. Their interest in the sea had more to do with light and color than using a body of water as a dramatic device. Their stylistic methods provided artists with new ways to present intimate aspects of the sea, such as the picturesque coves and seasides dotted with revelers represented by Maurice Prendergast.

Twentieth-century artists experimented with a variety of styles and techniques in their interpretations of the sea. Modernist John Marin captured the ocean's energy with exuberant brushwork and abstract geometric shapes. Mark Rothko used surrealist-inspired biomorphic forms to suggest sea creatures in a primordial marine world. Albert Christ-Janer's lithograph combines the brilliant color of sun, sea, and sky with the rhythmic patterns of foaming waves. Vija Celmins approaches total abstraction in her quiet, meditative ocean views.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Maritime archaeology program - collection

As a result of its national profile the museum receives many enquiries from Australia and overseas about the acquisition or loan of archaeological material. Our Maritime Archaeology Program Policy (199 kb) includes guidelines about ethical practices and legislation. These have been adopted from recommendations by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM) in an effort to curb the destruction of underwater cultural heritage sites, and the illegal or unethical trade in artefacts.
Acquiring archaeological material
Generally we do not acquire archaeological material except in certain special circumstances. As a rule, when material is offered to us, we investigate transferring it to the designated state authority or relevant museum responsible for archaeological material. We prefer that collections stay together except for the requirements of conservation, study or display.
Loan of archaeological objects
When the museum borrows archaeological material for display, it must have been obtained in accordance with the 1990 ICMM recommendations. That is, the material must not have been excavated for profit, it must have been obtained legally and excavated correctly.
Under the 1972 Australian-Netherlands Committee on Old Dutch Shipwrecks (ANCODS) the ANMM is the legal Commonwealth repository of selected material from the four major Dutch shipwrecks off the Western Australian coast. Some of this material is displayed in the Navigators gallery

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

State Art Collection – Acquisition Policy 2007 - 2011

The State Art Collection increases the knowledge and appreciation of the art of the world for the enjoyment and cultural enrichment of the people of Western Australia. The Collection aspires to be the best public art collection in the State and the pre-eminent collection of Western Australian art. The Collection provides primary access to art, heritage and ideas locally, regionally and internationally now and for future generations. The acquisition policy provides the direction for all purchases, gifts and loans to the Collection.

The priority is to expand the principal strength of the Collection – art with a central theme of human habitation in the environment. These Stories of Habitation encompass works of art across all areas of the Collection, and embrace the subject of human habitation, endeavour, beliefs and cultural critique. Through Stories of Habitation the Collection builds dialogues to support visitor engagment with the art of Western Australia and the art of the world.

Monday, July 7, 2008

International, Historical and Contemporary Art

The Art Gallery of Western Australia acquires works of art that build upon the principal strength of the Collection Stories of Habitation.

Indigenous Art - The Gallery acquires Australian Indigenous art, with a particular focus on enriching the representation of Western Desert, Kimberley and South West artists and communities. Clusters of works of art may be identified and developed to reflect a breadth of artists, to reinforce the strength of the community context and present the diversity of Indigenous artistic practice.

Australian Art - The Gallery acquires works of art by Australian artists with national reputations, from the historical and contemporary periods. In so doing, it will further enhance this key Collection strength. Further, the Gallery seeks to introduce the work of emerging artists.

Western Australian Art - The Art Gallery of Western Australia represents Western Australian artists with exemplary work from the historical and contemporary period, to build areas of key strength, artistic movements and/or artists. The Gallery acquires the work of WA artists to ensure the pre-eminence of this most unique area of concentration in the State Art Collection.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

State Art Collection

The Gallery's purpose is to preserve, interpret, display and acquire the visual arts from the past and the present with an emphasis on the art of Western Australia and Indigenous art.

The State Art Collection comprises 16,500 works in a range of media including painting, sculpture, craft and design, watercolours, drawings, photography and prints. Indigenous art is a highlight, providing a comprehensive overview of traditional and contemporary art from Western Australia, the Central Desert and Arnhemland. The Collection also has pre-eminent holdings of Western Australian art, craft and design from 1829 to the present.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Art Theft Program

Art and cultural property crime - which includes theft, fraud, looting, and trafficking across state and international lines -- is a looming criminal enterprise with estimated losses running as high as $6 billion annually.

To recover these precious pieces--and to bring these criminals to justice--the FBI uses a dedicated Art Crime Team of 13 Special Agents to investigate, supported by three Special Trial Attorneys for prosecutions...and it mans the National Stolen Art File, a computerized index of reported stolen art and cultural properties for the use of law enforcement agencies across the world.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Australian Prints, Drawings and Photographs

The Gallery also has an extensive collection of Australian prints, drawings and photographs with special emphasis on South Australian works, including a collection of 2000 Hans Heysen drawings which were bequeathed to the Gallery by the artist. The Gallery’s Australian prints and drawings reflect the strength of the paintings collection with strong holdings of colonial and modernist works as well as some fine examples of contemporary printmaking. Also to be found among the Australian works on paper are over 200 of Lionel Lindsay’s prints and drawings and a similar number of prints by Adelaide artist Barbara Hanrahan.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Graduate Studies in Art History

The MA program in Curatorial and Museum Studies is an innovative new course breaking new ground in Australia as the first course of its kind to utilise the expertise of practising gallery and museum professionals to teach around the theoretical and practical aspects of researching, designing and mounting exhibitions in museums and galleries. The program will be will be taught jointly by the Director and Curators of the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Art History staff of the University of Adelaide and ArtLab.

This course follows on from the successful postgraduate program in Art History which commenced at the Gallery in 2000. This course remains a leader in its field, offering students the chance to study art through the collections and special exhibitions of a major art museum, supported by University-based lectures and tutorials.

Students are expected to take 4 Graduate Diploma courses in Art History followed by 2 specialist MA courses in Curatorial and Museum Studies, which also includes a 20-day internship in a gallery or museum. Subjects offered in 2007 include Australian Art, European Art; Modern Art; Indigenous Art; and MA Program in Curatorial and Museum Studies.