Conferences, symposia, talks, walks and other art events in Melbourne and further afield.

MRelay | 12 hours of conversation at the MPavilion for its final weekend


In a sports relay, a team covers a distance in turns—a baton passing from one runner to the next. MRelay is an intellectual team sport bringing together leading thinkers, philosophers, fashionistas, mavericks, activists, provocateurs, architects and doyennesto share insights and ideas throughout a marathon conversation relay on Saturday 31 January 2015 from 11am to 11pm. Speakers from diverse fields will participate in rapid conversations (interviewing a fellow guest for 15 minutes, and then another for 15 minutes) to form a 12-hour chain reaction of ideas, murmurings and proclamations.The conversations will revolve around Pavilions, Intimate Publics,…

CHANGE OF VENUE: MPG Seminar on Edward Burne-Jones

Edward Burne-Jones, Portrait of Baronne Madeleine Deslandes, 1895-96. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Monday 1 December, 6:30pm. CHANGE OF VENUE: Visual Culture Resource Centre,  3rd Floor (next door to Room 344), East Tower,John Medley Building. This paper will investigate Sir Edward Burne-Jones’s enigmatic portrait of Baronne Madeleine Deslandes (1895-96), which was acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in late 2005. Baronne Deslandes (1866–1929) was the celebrated hostess of a cultured Parisian salon that was frequented by renowned artists, poets and composers. Using contemporary accounts of Deslandes, this paper will explore the degree to which her portrait by Burne-Jones reflected her character. Capturing a sitter’s likeness…

Lecture | Divided emotions, radical religions and apocalyptic expectations in the sixteenth-century Augsburg ‘Book of Miracles’ | Jenny Spinks

mage: Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch, Folio 114: “In 1533, three suns shone similarly…” Courtesy of Day Faber.

Sixteenth-century printed and manuscript wonder books compiled reports of comets, floods, earthquakes, monstrous births, and other terrifying and extraordinary phenomena. Such compendia appeared in great numbers after 1556, and German-language wonder books were produced most commonly in Switzerland and in northern German lands. Some wonder books also appeared before the mid-1550s, and in other German regions, although these are works that have received much less attention and analysis. This paper will examine a recently-discovered and richly illustrated manuscript wonder book that was produced in Augsburg in the late 1540s, during…

Lecture | The Rococo Erotics of Disguise and Innocence: Revisiting the issue of viewing pleasure in the ancien régime | Patricia Simons

"Jupiter in the Guise of Diana, and the Nymph Callisto" by François Boucher (1759). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The erotic pleasure of rococo art is usually considered frivolous and feminine, but what if the seeming superficiality and insincerity did have emotive impact? By considering images of playful babes and mythological nymphs, this lecture demonstrates that the masquerade of insignificance enabled the true mask, the nonchalant disguise of innocence, which nevertheless luxuriated in sensuality. Patricia Simons’ scholarly interests include the art of Renaissance Europe (primarily Italy, France and the Netherlands) with a special focus on the representation of gender and sexuality and interdisciplinary research on materiality, visuality and material…

Lecture | The Lie of the Land – John Dixon Hunt

John Dixon Hunt

Landscape architecture requires an attention to topography and geology, to how land lies on the surface of the earth and to what the architect does to what they find. All landscape architecture is essentially and excitingly a “lie”, a falsehood, or what Shakespeare calls a “feigned truth”. To explore this paradox, Professor John Dixon Hunt will invoke six different designs from the 16th and 20th centuries. John Dixon Hunt is Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the former Director of Studies in Landscape Architecture at…

Reminder | ‘Ideas and Enlightenment’ David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies | 10-12 December, Sydney

François Boucher, French, 1748, Oil on canvas, 116 x 133 in. 71.PA.37

Online registration closes soon for the David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XV. 10-12 December 2014 | The University of Sydney | Sydney, Australia The Sydney Intellectual History Network and ‘Putting Periodisation to Use’ Research Group at the University of Sydney invite you to the Fifteenth David Nichol Smith Seminar (DNS), with the theme ‘Ideas and Enlightenment’. Inaugurated and supported by the National Library of Australia, the DNS conference is the leading forum for eighteenth-century studies in Australasia. It brings together scholars from across the region and internationally who…

Studio Open Day | Gertrude Contemporary

Image David Brazier and Kelda Free, Untitled, film still, 2014.

SATURDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2014, 12.00PM–4.30PM Gertrude Contemporary’s Studio Artists will open their studios to the public for the afternoon of Saturday 29 November 2014, 12–4.30pm. This is an exclusive opportunity to visit the sixteen studios upstairs, view works in progress, and meet with the artists. It complements the annual Gertrude Studios exhibition, Part Two of which is currently on display. Gertrude’s current Studio Artists are Ross Coulter, Sean Bailey, Tully Moore, Claire Lambe, Sarah CrowEST, Jess Johnson, Sean Peoples, Scott Miles, Danae Valenza, Helen Grogan, Søren Dahlgaard, Hamishi Farah, Bridie…

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar | Emily Wubben: ‘Artistic Souls: Baronne Madeleine Deslandes and her portrait by Edward Burne-Jones’

Edward Burne-Jones, Portrait of Baronne Madeleine Deslandes, 1895-96. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Please note venue change – seminar will now be held in the Visual Resource Centre in the John Medley building. Time and date are the same. This paper will investigate Sir Edward Burne-Jones’s enigmatic portrait of Baronne Madeleine Deslandes (1895-96), which was acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in late 2005. Baronne Deslandes (1866–1929) was the celebrated hostess of a cultured Parisian salon that was frequented by renowned artists, poets and composers. Using contemporary accounts of Deslandes, this paper will explore the degree to which her portrait by Burne-Jones reflected…

Conversation | Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses | NGV International

Andy Warhol (American, 1928 – 1987), Sarah Bernhardt, from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980, screenprint on paper, 40 x 32 in. (101.6 x 81.3 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York. Gift of Lorraine and Martin Beitler, 2006-64.9 ©2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York /

Held in conjunction with The Jewish Museum’s exhibition Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses (20 Nov 2014-24 May 2015), join the Director of the Jewish Museum of Australia Rebecca Forgasz in conversation with the Director of the Jewish Museum Vienna Danielle Spera. Danielle Spera was appointed Director of the Jewish Museum Vienna in 2010. From 1978 till 2010 she worked as a journalist, correspondent, reporter, and anchorwoman at ORF-TV Austrian Broadcasting Cooperation. She is the author of numerous books and articles on contemporary art, Jewish topics, and for the magazine NU. Since…

Discussions and Workshops for the opening of Emily Floyd: The Daw at NGV

Emily Floyd, The Dawn (Maquette) 2014, wood, synthetic polymer paint
37.5 x 60.0 x 70.0 cm (overall), Collection of the artist, Melbourne. © Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

Celebrate the opening weekend of Emily Floyd: The Dawn at the National Gallery of Victoria with a series of discussions and hands-on workshops. About the Exhibition | Emily Floyd: The Dawn is a survey exhibition of the work of Melbourne-based artist Emily Floyd. The exhibition will feature works dating from 2001 to 2014 including lesser-known early works, major installations and a newly commissioned children’s project based on Feminist activism from the 1970s and 80s. Floyd works across the mediums of sculpture and printmaking and is known for her installations and public…

Ursula Hoff Dinner | University of Melbourne


The Art History discipline at the Faculty of Artsis hosting a dinner to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Dr Ursula Hoff’s arrival in Australia from London in December 1939. Dr Hoff was sponsored by the University Women’s College (now University College), at the University of Melbourne. Dr Hoff went on to have a distinguished career at the University and at the National Gallery of Victoria. This dinner is an opportunity to acknowledge Dr Hoff’s unique contribution to Australian culture. During the dinner, Kelly Gellatly, the Director of the University’s Ian…

Discussion | Micky Allan, Ponch Hawkes and Ruth Maddison on feminist politics and art photography | MGA

Community: Ruth Maddison's Vehicle Builders Union Ball, Collingwood Town Hall, Melbourne 1979, from the series Let’s dance. 27.0 x 18.0 cm Photo: Ruth Maddison

Given the vitality of both feminist politics and art photography during the 1970s, it is not surprising that they entered into a lively exchange that extended into the 1980s. Monash Gallery of Art is hosting a discussion around the work and ideas of three of leading photographers, Micky Allan, Ponch Hawkes and Ruth Maddison. Date: 3pm, 23rd November Venue: Monash Gallery of Art, 860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill Victoria 3150. Website: Free event. Bookings preferred please email:

Lecture | Museums for Contemporary Art in Central Europe – Dr Katarzyna Jagodzińska | University of Melbourne

Royal Castle in Budapest – seat of the Hungarian National Gallery and first seat of the Ludwig Museum

For countries in Central Europe the revolution in 1989 meant a new freedom in cultural activity and artistic creation, the beginning of transparent principles in financing culture, the end of censorship, as well as unhampered access to international cooperation. It is certainly one of the most symbolic dates in history. A period of transition began, when fully democratic states and societies were built. As an important element of civil societies, culture was also involved in the process of adaptation to the rules of free-market economy. But it does not mean…

Conference | Re-structure 2014


Budget cuts proposed by the Abbott government have instigated a proliferation of restructures across the public sector. These restructures will have far reaching impacts on culture and education. The Centre for Creative Arts at La Trobe University is organising a conference to discuss the current re-structuring in the arts, culture, creative sector in Australia. This conference looks at the current state of the arts, and considers alternative modes of culture and knowledge production within times of shrinking public expenditures. Featuring participants from performance, fashion, creative arts, gaming, media and community intervention, the event explores both broader…

Melbourne Portrait Group Seminar | Alison Inglis: Portraiture and the colonial collection

‘Additions to the Public Library buildings’, Australasian Sketcher, 18 April 1889 State Library of Victoria)

Associate Professor Alison Inglis | ‘Portraiture and the Colonial Collection: Searching for Portraits in the National Gallery of Victoria in the Nineteenth Century This paper will investigate the significance of the portrait during the early years of the National Gallery of Victoria by reconstructing this aspect of the collection prior to Federation. To what extent did the Trustees of Victoria’s leading colonial institution (consisting of the Public Library, Museum and National Gallery combined) seek to fulfill the role of a national portrait gallery by adopting such traditions as ‘the hall…