A History of Sydney's Art Gallery of New South Wales
- PUBLISHED: March 2022
- SUBJECT LISTING: Art, Art History
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 288 Pages, 10 x 9 in, 260 color illus.
- ISBN: 9781741741544
- Publisher: Art Gallery of New South Wales
In 2021, the Art Gallery of New South Wales celebrated its 150th anniversary. Since its founding as an academy of art in 1871, its evolution into one of Australia’s premier public art museums is testament to the enthusiasm and ingenuity of its staff, trustees, and supporters, and to the artists whose works have drawn in visitors from Sydney and beyond.
The Exhibitionists is the story of the people who made the gallery. It peels away the layers of official narratives to find the often-overlooked histories bubbling beneath the surface. These are tales of big personalities and great talents, of groundbreaking exhibitions and table-thumping conflicts, all underpinned by an unwavering commitment to bringing art to the people. Steven Miller, the gallery’s archivist, is uniquely placed to bring these stories to light. It’s an inside view, and an outside one too, as Miller steps back to explore the society and cultural values that produced this iconic institution and tracks how it has morphed and modernized in step with those values—and ahead of them—for the last century and a half.
The Exhibitionists brings to light the history of an art museum in its 150th year—an anniversary also reached by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2020. It tells both a local Sydney story and part of a broader international one, of the ways in which public museums develop, represent, and present culture and how they evolve with the times.
Authors & Contributors
Steven Miller is head of the National Art Archive and Capon Research Library at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He has published widely on art, including Awakening: Four Lives in Art, with Eileen Chanin, Dogs in Australian Art, and the award-winning Degenerates and Perverts: The 1939 Herald Exhibition of French and British Contemporary Art, with Eileen Chanin.