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Old Masters old hat

By Kerces 12 April 2006 5

National Gallery director Ron Radford told a meeting of the Voluntary Guides Association the gallery will no longer display its collection of old masters.

The Canberra Times arts writer Helen Musa was given a detailed report of the meeting in which Mr Radford said the Australian public was not interested in old masters but rather went to galleries to see indigenous and Australian art and that they loved the art of the Victorian period (which, coincidentally, is apparently Mr Radford’s great love as well).

Somewhat ironically, Mr Radford also praised the guides for not leaking his plans to the media as some gallery staff did earlier in the year.

At the meeting, which was held on the day of Pro Hart’s funeral, the director said the gallery’s collection of old masters was really too small to make much of an impact and that they might as well have a random collection of Pro Harts.

He plans to concentrate on the gallery’s strengths, which he listed as European Art of the first half of the 20th century, 20th-century American art, photography, Asian art and the 20th-century drawing collection, and to fill the gaps in its Australian collection as well as proceed with plans to loan out the old masters for long-term display in state galleries.

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Old Masters old hat
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terubo 6:56 am 14 Apr 06

Huh? The earlier announcement was a policy decision – he wasn’t just floating an idea around to test the waters. Of course his intention was going to be implemented.

Kerces 8:58 am 13 Apr 06

My understanding is that his earlier announcement was just one of intention; this meeting confirms that it’s actualy going to happen.

b2 6:33 pm 12 Apr 06

yeah, wasn’t there a story about his vision in the CT months ago… when he explained his plans

terubo 11:20 am 12 Apr 06

He made this policy decision public, some weeks ago. Ms Musa was probably reviewing contemporary Mongolian craftwork in Ulaan Bator at the time.

Sssanta 10:48 am 12 Apr 06

About time. This guy seems to be looking at what strengths the NGA has in terms of Assets and collections and buidling on that, rather than just randomly grabbing paintings from various eras, movements etc. Plus, he is looking into our big backyard, and putting all the good work that artists do locally and exposing it on a national and international stage. Shame about his name though.

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