Issue 148 | July 2011
Fred Williams  | Out of the West | Members news | Events | Competition
01 Fred Williams opens 12 August

Fred Williams: infinite horizons is a retrospective exhibition that provides the opportunity for visitors to engage with the achievement of one of Australia’s greatest artists. The exhibition focuses on Williams’s art from the late 1940s to 1981, including works from private and public collections around Australia and from the Tate in London. It highlights his strengths as a painter through important oil paintings and luminous gouaches that reveal his distinctive approach to the local environment and his passion for the process of painting itself.

Fred Williams photographed for
'The Age', July 1980. Photographer
Fiona McDougall
© Estate of Fred Williams

Title image: Studio, Upwey (detail) 1964. Photographer David Moore.

Fred Williams, 'Self-portrait at easel' 1960-61, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Gift of Lyn Williams 1998, donated through Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Estate of Fred Williams

Some two and a half decades after his last Australian retrospective, Fred Williams: infinite horizons introduces a new generation to this important artist and provides the chance for a wide audience to engage with a range of his art over four decades, revealing afresh his distinctive and considerable artistic legacy.

Deborah Hart
Senior Curator, Australian Painting and Sculpture post-1920

image: after Robert Dale etcher and publisher Robert Havell Panoramic View of King George Sound, part of the colony of Swan River 1834
02 Out of
the West opens 8 July

Out of the West is the first exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia to present a large sample of Western Australian art from pre-settlement to today. It offers a starting point for visitors to the Gallery to explore Western Australian art through painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, video installation, jewellery, furniture, decorative arts and design.

For audiences wishing to explore this diversity of media in greater detail, a range of public talks will be offered. During August, a series of four evening lectures will provide both an exhibition overview and the opportunity to focus on specific artists. Each of these lectures will be followed by a focus tour of the show with one of the NGA’s curators.

Free lunchtime talks will also be held in association with Out of the West – don’t miss the Director’s view with Ron Radford on Thursday 28 July at 12.45pm.

Kathleen O'Connor, 'In the studio' c1928 (detail), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2007.



Title image: after Robert Dale, etcher and publisher Robert Havell, 'Panoramic View of King George Sound, part of the colony of Swan River' 1834 (detail) The Wordsworth Collection, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2010.

03 Members news learn more about

Coming in July is our series of Winter Concerts, Music at the Gallery, a must-see on the Canberra arts calendar. The series opens on 3 July with opera virtuoso Amelia Farrugia, as she pays homage to soprana Dame Nellie Melba. For full details of the series, please visit our website.

In July we are also excited to present the launch of our Members book club . A new book will be selected each quarter, providing an opportunity to engage with current exhibitions, the gallery’s collection and general themes around art and culture. Places for the discussion group are limited to 20 only. Our first book will be Kristel Thornell’s Night street, loosely based on the life of Clarice Beckett.

Clarice Beckett, 'Collins Street, evening' 1931 (detail), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1971


Soprano Amelia Farrugia, who will perform in Music at the Gallery in Gandel Hall on 3 July.

Fred Williams: infinite horizons opens on Friday 12 August and we invite you to celebrate by joining us for our Members winter party . You will have exclusive after-hours access to the exhibition plus entertainment and refreshments.  Members attending the winter party will be given the opportunity to attend the lecture by Patrick McCaughey to be held prior to the member’s event.  These complimentary tickets are limited, so book now to ensure you don’t miss out.

Liz Wilson
Manager Membership and Development Programs

View exclusive Members specials

04 Event
highlights Go to calendar
for all events
naidoc NAIDOC WEEK 2011





children FOR MEMBERS

membersINUKSUIT, 25 JUNE






05 Behind the scenesFred Williams
part five

As the opening date of Fred Williams: infinite horizons draws nearer, we asked Kate Buckingham, the NGA’s Assistant Registrar, Loans and Exhibitions, to give us an insight into her part in helping this exhibition come together.

What is your role in preparing for a major exhibition, and what are some of the joys and challenges?
My role is to communicate with galleries and private collectors to arrange the delivery and display of their works at the NGA. I put in place contractual agreements with lenders and negotiate the conditions of loan. At times I study over the shoulder of conservators, examining fly spots and flaking paint, then discuss with owners the need to carry out a particular conservation treatment. Each work of art presents its own exciting and challenging scenario and I work as part of a team to ensure we care for the works according to best museum practice.

The most rewarding aspect of working on an exhibition is unpacking the works after so many months of preparation. There is a sense of quiet intimacy in seeing the works before they are unveiled to the public.

I also find the different stories of the objects and the dialogues that emerge fascinating as the owners, curators, conservators and installers all relate to the works in a different way. I enjoy my role at the Gallery as I am constantly learning.

Title image: Print room (detail) 1982, photographer unknown (likely to be Fred or Lyn Williams).

How far in advance do you begin working on a major exhibition?
Much of my work begins as much as 8 months in advance of the exhibition opening and continues until the works are returned to their respective owners.

Fred Williams, 'Beachscape, Erith Island II' 1975, oil on four canvases, Tate, London, presented by the artist's estate 2006 © Estate of Fred Williams

Do you have a favourite work in the Fred Williams exhibition?
Beachscape, Erith Island II. Glimpses of summertime. Drenched in cool salt water. Wiggling toes in the sand. Cloudless power blue. The ocean’s melody. The beat of the sun…

Read part four

Below: Behind the scenes in the Imaging studio, with gouache 'Barge boy' c 1955, private collection. Photographers Eleni Kypridis (pictured), John Tassie and other Imaging staff ensure all works are rigorously proofed so the colours are accurate.

06 Music
at the Gallery Winter Concerts
in Gandel Hall

Soprano Amelia Farrugia will perform the first in a series of four concerts of classical music held at the Gallery, all of which will be hosted by ABC Classic Breakfast’s Emma Ayres.

Farrugia's performance will be in two parts, the first honouring Melba through pieces such as Hahn’s Si mes vers, the second displaying her performance range through passionate French arias, including Gounod’s Jewel Song from Faust.

The second concert features the Lurline Chamber Orchestra on 17 July, followed by Simon Tedeschi on 24 July and the award-winning tenor Rosario La Spina on 31 July.

All performances commence at 2pm. Tickets and more information here.

Above: The Lurline Chamber Orchestra, performing in Music at the Gallery on 17 July.

07 Collection videos

Emily Kam Kngwarray, 'Ntange Dreaming', 1989 from the National Gallery of Australia channel on Vimeo .

Did you know the National Gallery of Australia has over 100 videos highlighting the collection available online via Vimeo and YouTube? Collection areas featured include 19th and 20th century Australian art, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. There are also videos for the touring exhibition Space invaders.

Watch this space - we're currently working on exciting new ways to bring the collection alive and direct to your browser via video.

08 Around
the country
see full details
of all travelling

Northern Territory
Australian portraits 1880–1960 is closing on 10 July 2010

In the Japanese manner:
Australian prints 1900 –1940
is open at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville from 20 May – 14 August 2011

In the spotlight: Anton Bruehl photographs 1920s–1950s is open at Monash Gallery of Art , Wheelers Hill from 25 June – 11 September 2011

Australian portraits 1880–1960 is open at Warrnambool Art Gallery from 23 July – 4 September 2011

Margaret Preston Bird of Paradise 1925 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 196 Anton Bruehl 'Muchacho (Boy)', 1932 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Gift of American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia Inc, New York USA, made possible with the generous support of Anton Bruehl Jr 2006.
09 Special offers

Win an ATSI Art handbook
Win one of three of our best-selling handbooks of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art, much of it featured in the new galleries.

Tell us which is your favourite new gallery and why in 25 words or less.

Email with your answer and the subject line 'ATSI handbook ' before
5.00 pm 26 July 2011 to enter the competition.

Gallery Shop Sale
Don't miss this opportunity to pick up some great bargains in the Shop. From Friday 1 July to Sunday 3 July you will enjoy
20% off STOREWIDE!

10 Support

The Masterpieces for the Nation Fund is an opportunity for everybody to assist with the acquisition of a significant work of art for the national art collection. This year the Gallery has nominated Nora Heysen’s Self-portrait 1932, a striking image of a modern, independent woman. Please contact us if you would like to help acquire this painting by making a donation.

Right: Nora Heysen, 'Self-portrait' 1932 (detail), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Above: William Robinson, 'Creation landscape - fountains of the earth' 2002 (detail), National Gallery of Australia, acquired with the assistance of Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2003.

11 Exclusive to members

Accommodation offer courtesy of 8Hotels Collection

Book online or over the phone to receive the following benefits at any hotel in Australia within the 8Hotels Collection:
- Complimentary internet
- Complimentary room upgrade (subject to availability)
- Complimentary late check out


Conditions: Offer valid 6 June 2011 - 1 June 2012. Quote the promotion code 'NGA2011' when booking online or by phone to access these benefits. Members must show their NGA Membership card upon check in. Complimentary room upgrade is subject to availability and when booking the top room type no upgrade can be provided.

Will Ashton The old bridge, Paris c 1925 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1959

Win tickets to Tree of Life
In Cinemas June 30

Thanks to our friends at Icon Films we have 5 double passes to giveaway to the limited release film Tree of Life. Winner of the prestigious Palme D’or prize at Cannes, the film was written and directed by Terrence Malick, and stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Simply be one of the first 5 members to respond here and you will grab yourself a pass. More information here.

Brad Pitt features in Terrence Malick's award-winning new release 'Tree of life'.

Win a trip to Paris

If your Gallery membership is valid on 31 August 2011 you'll automatically go into the draw to win a trip to Paris for two with a special guided tour of the Musée d’Orsay. The prize includes return economy airfares flying Qantas to London, transfers to Paris and five nights accommodation at an Accor Hotel. Valued at $10,000.

Left: Will Ashton, 'The old bridge, Paris' (detail), c 1925 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1959.