A new orthodoxy for Australian art

Crossing cultures

Andrew Sayers


The Cambridge Companion to Australian Art
edited by Jaynie Anderson
Cambridge University Press, $120 pb, 390 pp, 9781107601581


Bernard Smith, who died in September 2011, was responsible for creating the first orthodoxy in Australian art history. His version of the story of Australian art has been persuasive and enduring. It held sway for half a century; in many ways we are still living with it. Smith’s classic account of the development of Australian art was Australian Painting, first published in 1962 and reprinted with updates in 1971, 1991, and 2001.

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Published in February 2012, no. 338
Andrew Sayers

Andrew Sayers

Andrew Sayers became Director of the National Museum of Australia in June 2010.  He was previously the inaugural Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, a position he held from 1998 until 2010. After studying at the University of Sydney, he began his career at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before moving to Newcastle Region Art Gallery as Assistant Director. In 1985 he joined the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) as Curator of Australian drawings. When he left the NGA thirteen years later, he was Assistant Director (Collections). In June 2010 he was awarded a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to art administration. In September 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra. Andrew has been responsible for several exhibitions of Australian art, particularly in the areas of drawing and portraiture. He has published extensively and is the author of Drawing in Australia (1989); Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century (1994); and Oxford History of Art: Australian Art (2001).

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