“It’s a real opportunity for people who love art to see a lot of different views of landscape. And it shows too that the landscape tradition is alive and well today.”
That is how New England Regional Art Museum curator Robert Heather describes the museum’s current exhibition, Views of Landscape.
“It’s a really diverse show, even though it’s sort of a universal subject. If this exhibition was in another regional gallery in another state, they’d be calling it a ‘blockbuster’,” Mr Heather said.
“The Howard Hinton Collection was collected … in the 1930s and ‘40s. That was at a time when landscape was a really active genre of painting here in Australia.
“So it’s got amazing examples of landscape paintings by Arthur Streeton, Norman and Lionel Lindsay. There are some ‘hidden treasures’ that maybe people haven’t noticed or seen before.
“We’ve got Elioth Gruner, who was a very prominent artist at that time and who actually travelled through Bellingen and Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Heads (almost a century ago), so we have some rare pictures from the 1930s of those areas.
“Because it was very much a teaching collection, because it was held at the Armidale Teachers’ College, we have examples of landscapes in France, Italy and England - setting up the idea of how artists viewed the landscape in earlier times as well.
“A lot of it is Australian artists who travelled. Going on a grand tour was a big part of your education, so a lot of Australian artists spent time going over to Europe, either after school or college, or later in their life.
“In this exhibition, we explore the way in which artists’ views of the landscape have evolved, from the traditional English countryside of 19th-century painter Samuel Palmer, through to the contemporary interventions of Christo around Sydney Harbour in the late 1960s and the work of contemporary urban artists today, such as George Gittoes.”
He said Views of Landscape would “enable our visitors to experience a range of high-quality landscape painting, prints and drawings right here in Armidale”. NERAM, at 106-114 Kentucky St, is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm. For more information call 6772 5255.
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