Issue 150 | September 2011
Renaissance  | Fred Williams | Members news | Events | Special offers
01 Renaissance 15th and 16th century
paintings from the
Accademia Carrara,

Renaissance offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see paintings by great Italian artists. Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini and Titian star among an amazing display of talent and creative splendour from the Early and High Renaissance.

Over seventy works on panel and canvas will be on display, made between 1400 and 1600 by exceptional artists working in Northern and Central Italy.

Of extraordinary quality, the paintings emanate from cities and courts of Renaissance high culture. In Venice, Florence, Bergamo, Padua, Ferrara and Siena, the Church and private patrons commissioned religious scenes as well as magnificent portraits.

Subjects range from touching depictions of the Madonna and Child, insightful depictions of nobles, Bible stories, the lives of the Saints and moving renditions of the Crucifixion.

Giovanni Bellini, 'Madonna and Child, known as The Alzano Madonna' c. 1488, Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Bequest of Giovanni Morelli 1891.

The Accademia Carrara in Bergamo is closed for renovation, allowing Australians to view these treasures in Canberra only.

To our valued Members and artonline subscribers, we are pleased to offer pre-sale tickets via Ticketek. All tickets are timed entry.

Title image: Vittore Carpaccio 'Nativity of Our Lady' c. 1502–04 (detail), Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Bequest of Guglielmo Lochis 1866.

02 Fred Williams open now

Fred Williams revolutionised the way we see the Australian environment. To coincide with the exhibition Fred Williams: infinite horizons, a major publication has been produced and is now on sale in the exhibition shop.

The book highlights Williams's strength as a painter, and includes a wide range of oil paintings and luminous gouaches, along with new material from the artist's diaries and his remarkable China sketchbook.

'Fred Williams: infinite horizons' by Dr Deborah Hart, with an essay by 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastien Smee. 240 pages.

Title image: Fred Williams 'Waterfall polyptych' 1979, Art Gallery of New South Wales. Purchased with assistance from the H. G. Slater Foundation 1980 © estate of Fred Williams.

Betty ChurcherAO, Ron Radford AM and the Honourable Mrs Ashley Dawson-Damer at the official opening of 'Fred Williams: infinite horizons' on Thursday 11 August.

Readers will experience a special opportunity to travel with Williams from the 1940s to his last works in 1981 - from the figure studies of his student days in Melbourne and London, to the groundbreaking landscapes, beachscapes and waterfalls of regional Victoria, and to subjects further afield in Bass Strait, the Cape York Peninsula and the magnificent Pilbara region in Western Australia. Also included are intimate portraits of family and friends.

This engaging publication is a fitting tribute to an outstanding artist. The clarity and richness of Williams's distinctive artistic vision that is his legacy, will continue to inspire generations to come.


03 Members news

On Friday 12th August we welcomed members to our winter party in conjunction with the opening of Fred Williams: infinite horizons.  The night was a great success with a wonderful introduction from exhibition curator Dr Deborah Hart. The high-energy musical talents of the bridge between kept us toe-tapping all the way through. Don’t forget to book your place for the upcoming Curator's Dinner with Dr Deborah Hart on Friday 16th September.

The exciting news this month is the announcement of our summer show, Renaissance: 15th & 16th century Italian paintings from the Accademia Cararra, Bergamo. As members of the National Gallery of Australia you have exclusive access to pre-sale tickets before the general public.

Margaret Olley, 'Hawkesbury wildflowers and pears' 1973 (detail).

A reminder to keep an eye out for your invitation to member’s Renaissance events in the spring edition of Artonview.

We are also pleased to announce the launch of our Member’s Acquisition Fund 2011.  This year’s work is Margaret Olley’s Hawkesbury wildflowers and pears, 1973.  Check pages 18 and 19 of your spring issue of Artonview for more details.

Liz Wilson
Manager Membership and Development Programs

View exclusive Members offer

04 Event
highlights Go to calendar
for all events
Peter Sculthorpe Concert





children FOR MEMBERS

Architects Lecture Series

The Big Draw 2011




05 Behind the scenesKenneth Tyler
Film and Sound Collection digitisation project

View Frank Stella discussing 'The fountain' on Vimeo | More NGA videos

In addition to a wealth of important prints from the workshops of American master printer Kenneth Tyler, the Gallery’s Tyler Collection contains candid photographic material and a comprehensive film and sound collection.

The International Prints Department has been working with DAMSmart! preservation services to digitise the film and sound holdings, and the results so far have been very exciting. Rare footage of Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney and Frank Stella at work and in discussion with Ken Tyler offer new perspectives on the collection that we can’t wait to share!

Title image: Frank Stella, 'The fountain' 1992, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra © Frank Stella/ARS. Licensed by Viscopy

DAMSmart!’s Film Preservation Operator David McGrouther at work.

Film and sound will be featured in exhibitions and published on our website as we identify and catalogue the material. And in the meantime, stay up to date by following PrintBoffin on Twitter and the Tyler blog, Beyond Print.

06 Meet the curator Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax

Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax started work at the Gallery in 2005 as a volunteer in the Australian Prints and Drawings Department, and became the Gordon Darling Graduate Intern in 2006. She is now the Curator of Australian Prints and Drawings and her exhibition Play opens in the Childrens’ Gallery at the NGA in January 2012. 

What has been your most satisfying moment as a curator?
Assisting with two Gordon Darling Fellowship publications: Redback Graphix by Anna Zagala and Australian Artists' Books by Alex Selenitsch.

If you could curate a solo show of any artist who would it be?
Sandra Selig (Australia) or the late Norman B. Colp (USA).

Charles Blackman, 'Schoolgirl takes a flip' 1979 (detail), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

If you were a work of art in the collection what would you be? 
Charles Blackman’s flip-book Schoolgirl takes a flip (1979).

What is your favourite work not on display?
My favourite changes all the time, but lately it would be Bea Maddock’s artist book This time (1967-69). 

What is the most fragile work you have encountered?
Drawings by Tommy McRae from the 1890s, done in iron gall ink (a purplish-black ink made from mixing iron salts and tannic acid).

07 Floriade
Curators' talks
in association
with Floriade 2011

During Floriade 2011, celebrate Canberra in the spring by attending one of three curatorial talks in the Gallery’s Sculpture Garden. The Sculpture Garden features distinct areas designed around the seasons of the year. The talks explore these spaces and the sculptures in the winter, spring and summer gardens. All talks are free and begin at 12.45pm, meeting in the Sculpture Garden courtyard.

Thursday 22 September Christine Dixon, Senior Curator, International Painting and Sculpture, discusses works in the winter space of the Sculpture Garden.

Thursday 29 September
Emilie Owens, Curatorial Assistant, International Art, discusses works in the spring section of the
Sculpture Garden.

Background: Mark di Suvero 'Ik ook' 1971–72. Foreground: Emile Antoine Bourdelle 'Penelope' 1912 (cast 1972). National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Thursday 13 October
Lucina Ward, Curator, International Painting and Sculpture, discusses works in
the summer section of the Sculpture Garden.

Title image: courtesy of Floriade and the ACT Government.

08 Support

The Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program encourages people to give items of cultural significance to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives.

In line with the National Gallery of Australia’s Acquisitions Policy, Australian Aboriginal artist Danie Mellor has recently given a spectacular work to the Gallery through the Cultural Gifts Program. A Transcendent Vision (of life, death and resurrection) 2010 is a multi-layered work that incorporates ancient Freemasonic symbols and Hebrew letters, provoking thought about ancient cultures, Western civilisation and the notion of empire.

Gifts of significant works of art are just one of many ways to contribute to the life of the Gallery.

For more information on the Cultural Gifts Program please visit this website or contact

Danie Mellor, 'A Transcendent Vision (of life, death and resurrection)' 2010, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Gift of Danie Mellor, Donated through the Australian Governments' Cultural Gift Program 2011.

09 Around
the country
interstate events
and travelling

Space invaders: australian . street . stencils . posters . paste-ups . zines . stickers is open 1 September – 5 November 2011 at RMIT Gallery

Australian portraits 1880–1960 is open until 4 September 2011 at Warrnambool Art Gallery

In the spotlight: Anton Bruehl photographs 1920s–1950s is open until 11 September 2011 at Monash Gallery of Art

Right: Misha Hollenbach, 'No still eye deer' (detail) 2000. Acquired with the support of Calypso Mary Efkarpidis, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

10 Special

Special accommodation offer

The Hyatt Hotel Canberra is the proud accommodation partner for Fred Williams: infinite horizons. For a special accommodation offer including accommodation, tickets to the exhibition and a Fred Williams catalogue, please visit the website of the Hyatt Hotel Canberra.

Gallery Shop Father's Day Sale

Friday 2 – Sunday 4 September
20% off all books!

National Gallery of Australia Shop, Parkes Place, Canberra ACT 2600 | (02) 6240 6420

Above: Micah Lexier 'Untitled [7]' (detail) 2005, from the series 'Sydney signs', National Gallery of Australia, Canberra © Micah Lexier

11 Exclusive
to members

The Eye of the Storm
In cinemas 15 September

In the Sydney suburb of Centennial Park, two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter as her expatriate son and daughter convene at her deathbed. But in dying, as in living, Mrs Hunter remains a powerful force on those who surround her. 

Based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner Patrick White, The Eye of the Storm is a savage exploration of family relationships – and the sharp undercurrents of love and hate, comedy and tragedy, which define them.


Be one of the first 20 members to respond here with your name and membership number and you will receive a double pass.

For more information or to view the trailer click here.