News and Writing on Art and Art History | September 3rd

News and Writing on Art and Art History | September 3rd

Katrina Grant


New NGV director Tony Ellwood gave a speech to the Melbourne Press Club on the 23rd August (full text in The Australian) where he outlined plans for the NGV under his leadership, some more specific than others. The continued focus on the apparent need for more and more contemporary art at the NGV strikes me as misplaced. A collection will always have its gaps (I’m sure many of us could think of a certain period we would love to see a few more examples of). However, the NGV does a lot for contemporary art, there is always contemporary art on display in both the NGVA and NGV International, including a dedicated space at the NGV International. They collect (it seems to me) a significant amount of contemporary art, including Australian artists. In some ways the anxiety seems to be prompted by the press, in particular The Age (for instance, here Gabriella Coslovich gets excited about the new plans). Melbourne does contemporary art well, we have ACCA, we have Gertrude Contemporary, amongst many others as well as lots of smaller galleries that show the work of Australian and International contemporary artists. As has been noted before on MAN by David Marshall, the NGV is virtually the only place in Melbourne that does something other than contemporary, or twentieth century, art, and it’s shame some in the press see that as a failure instead of the strength that it is. I am genuinely interested in others opinions of this and the comments below are open (click through the site if reading this in an email), please leave a comment!

Something of an online debate has been raging over the definition of connoisseurship and its place in art history. It was spurred by this post from Bendor Grosvenor’s Art History News where he took issue with Dana Arnold’s description of connoisseurship as ‘elitist’, amongst other things. Some took issue with his criticism of Arnold and it has provoked a bit of debate with Grosvenor publishing a series on interesting responses and examples of connoisseurship. David Packwood has also published a series of comments on the debate on his site.

Does copyright matter? – Author Tim Parks considers the history, uses and uselessness of copyright laws.

Art historians welcome an open approach to copyright from museums such as the National Portrait Gallery in the UK.

Does some fine madness yield great artists, writers, and scientists? The evidence is growing for a significant link between bipolar disorder and creative temperament and achievement.’ Claudia Slegers in The Conversation

Teaching historical method through hoaxes – T. Mills Kelly describes how he asked his students to create historical hoaxes in an effort to make his them better historians.

Jonathan Jones attacks Damien Hirst, describing him as a ‘national disgrace‘.

What do you do if you find out one of the paintings in your collection is actually a Picasso? Dust it off and put it back on display? Not if you are the Evansville Museum in the States, they are flogging their recently ‘discovered’ Picasso.

‘Stop apologising for your Arts degree’ – Writer Mehal Krayem on how she learned to stop worrying and be proud of her arts degree. Excellent advice. If those of us who are studying/ have studied arts, or those of us who teach it, can’t stand up and be proud of it and defend its place in education then there is little hope that we will stop the attacks on the humanities in Australian universities.

Should the Buddha’s of Bamiyan be rebuilt?

The world’s worst art restoration in Spain is old news by now having caught the world’s attention in the way serious conservation never does.

Contemporary art is easy to hate, but maybe that’s a good thing argues Simon Critchley.

Calls for Papers

Knowing Inside Out – experiential knowledge, expertise and connoisseurship (July 2013, Loughborough UK) – deadline 15th November, 2012.

Call for Contributions – Re-Visions. The journal of international postgraduate students art & design research – deadline  17th September, 2012.

Funding and Jobs


Lecturer in Asian Art History, University of Sydney – closes 30th September, 2012.

Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts, University of Tasmania – closes 31st October, 2012.

Curator of Public Programs at Craft ACT, Canberra – Closes 17th September, 2012.

Curator and Exhibition Manager at Craft ACT, Canberra – Closes 10th September, 2012.


CASVA fellowships, senior, visiting and predoctoral, Washington – various deadlines.

Lecturer, School of Fine Arts, within the College of Creative Arts, Massey University Wellington – closes 15th September, 2012.

Senior Lecturer/ Reader in the History of Art 1500-1700, University of Glasgow – College of Arts, School of Culture and Creative Arts – deadline 7th September, 2012.

Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer in Cultural Industries and Cultural Policy, University of Glasgow – School of Culture and Creative Arts – deadline 24th September, 2012.

Curator, Royal Academy of Arts, London – deadline 19th September 2012.

Senior Research Assistant/Research Fellow, University of Southampton -Winchester School of Art – deadline 7th September, 2012.

Guild Research Fellow: Contemporary Art, University of Central Lancashire – School of Art, Design and Performance – deadline 15th October 2012.

Assistant Professor of Visual Studies (tenure-track), University of California, Berkeley, Department of History of Art – deadline October 15th, 2012.

Research Fellowships, University of Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College – deadline 28th September 2012.

Research Fellowships, St John’s College, University of Cambridge  – deadline Monday 1st October, 2012.

Fellowship Opportunities in American Art 2013–14, Smithsonian American Art Museum (range of different fellowships) – Deadline January 15th, 2013.

Curator: Late Medieval Europe, Prehistory and Europe, The British Museum – deadline 20th September, 2012.

1 comment for “News and Writing on Art and Art History | September 3rd

  1. Linda Wachtel
    September 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I don’t agree with you Katrina. If the NGV is to remain relevant and vibrant, it must address its attitude towards collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. Its holdings of international and local contemporary art are full of gaps. For example, photomedia, which is so widely represented in the best overseas galleries, is given insufficient prominence at the NGV. If the gallery wants to reach out to a new generation of museum patrons and visitors, contemporary art has to have a greater permanent presence. ACCA is a non-acquisitive enterprise and it would be nice not to have to go to the MCA in Sydney to get a fix of the most recent overseas trends. The NGV should also support young Victorian artists. I accept that there will always be gaps in collections but that dosent mean we shouldn’t try and fill them where they might resonate with a wider audience. This isn’t a beat up by the press. Declining attendances are the cue for action. I’m thrilled that Tony Elwood is committed to engaging with a wider audience by giving a greater presence to contemporary art.

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