Art Talk: Elspeth Pitt and Deirdre Cannon on Clarice Beckett
Know My Name: Making it Modern
Published 06 October 2023
Hear Elspeth Pitt, Senior Curator, Australian Art and Deirdre Cannon, Assistant Curator, Australian Art, speak about artist Clarice Beckett as part of Know My Name: Making it Modern.
Beckett was among the most original artists of early twentieth century Australia. Deeply sensitive to the effects of colour, light and atmosphere, she painted the life and scenery of her coastal home in south-east Naarm/Melbourne with an eye for the commonplace and fleeting.
The National Gallery was the first Australian public gallery to purchase Beckett’s work, with inaugural director James Mollison acquiring eight paintings from her 1971 posthumous exhibition. In recognition of this, Beckett’s sister, Hilda Mangan, donated a group of paintings to the National Gallery in 1972. Following extensive conservation treatment, this collection of works is now displayed for the first time alongside a selection of the gallery’s first acquisitions.