Where to Begin: Writing a History of Australian Art
Free Public Lecture
Arts West building
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre
Histories of Australian art generally begin with natural history drawings by artists on Cook’s brief visit to a few sites on the eastern coastline of Australia during 1770 and/or the first decade of the penal colony of NSW, and not the much more impressive Ice-Age rock art in the north of the continent, or as Fred McCubbin had hoped, with the art of his Impressionist mates. In examining why this is this case, this lecture seeks to understand what is required of national art histories and in particular, what Bernard Smith called ‘a national tradition in Australian art’.
Professor Ian McLean is Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History at the University of Melbourne. He has published extensively on Australian art and particularly Indigenous art.
Presented as part of the 2018 Faculty of Arts Dean’s Lecture Series: Celebrating the Impact of Giving
In 2018, thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Faculty of Arts welcomes six newly appointed Professorial Chairs, reaffirming our Faculty’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research. As Chairs, these academics will make significant contributions to their disciplines, enriching these specialist fields for the benefit of our students and the broader community for years to come.
The Faculty of Arts strives to ensure that talented students of all backgrounds have access to the outstanding scholarly expertise and leadership that these new appointments represent. The Faculty of Arts 110 Scholarship is an access and equity scholarship fund that supports students who struggle to afford a university education or are hampered by circumstances beyond their control. Every gift counts – if you’re interested in learning more, please follow the link on this page.
To celebrate the transformative impact of philanthropic giving for future generations of students, join us for this lecture series to hear our new Chairs give talks on their areas of research expertise and teaching.
Professor Ian McLean, Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History
Professor Ian McLean
Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History
University of Melbourne
Professor Ian McLean is Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History at the University of Melbourne. He has published extensively on Australian art and particularly Indigenous art. His books include Indigenous Archives The making and Unmaking of Aboriginal Art (with Darren Jorgensen); Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art; Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous art; How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art; White Aborigines Identity Politics in Australian Art; and The Art of Gordon Bennett (with a chapter by Gordon Bennett).