A Gallery under scrutiny
The last decade of the 19th century was a particularly turbulent period for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, as it negotiated its increasingly established role in public life. Questions concerning its accountability and relevance were raised by the public, as well as by government and artists. Many of the Gallery’s now iconic works entered the collection at this time, amidst lively debates about what the Gallery should collect. European purchases still dominated acquisitions, but in 1894 the scandalous Dreyfus affair divided loyalties and curtailed the work of the Gallery’s art advisers in Paris.
Steven Miller will discuss the debates, scandals and tensions that characterised this period which trustee Eccleston Du Faur characterised as the Gallery’s ‘coming of age’.
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