DETAIL : Russell DRYSDALE  'Emus in a landscape' 1950  Painting oil on canvas NGA 1970.106  � Estate of Russell Drysdale
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Federation landscapes and the Federation tradition 1900–40

In the period between Federation and the First World War, and indeed beyond, national sentiment was even more keenly expressed in literature and landscape painting than it had been in the 1880s and 1890s. Australian landscapes were privately purchased in greater numbers, and art museums and exhibitions were well attended, usually for people to admire the iconic examples of local landscape then prominently displayed. It was the beginning of Australians’ lasting love of their art museums: Australians per capita are arguably the greatest art-museum visitors in the world. Although curious about different cultures, Australians still love their own art best, especially their landscapes.

A younger generation of Australian modernist artists eventually rebelled against these reactionary landscapes.