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Jessyca Hutchens on ‘The legacies of Bernard Smith’: a review

24 November 2017

‘The legacies of Bernard Smith’

Review of: The Legacies of Bernard Smith: Essays on Australian Art, History and Cultural Politics, edited by Jaynie Anderson, Christopher R. Marshall, and Andrew Yip, Sydney: Power Publications, in association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2016. $35.00 pbk, ISBN: 9780994306432

Jessyca Hutchens (The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford) 17/JH1

Abstract: The Legacies of Bernard Smith: Essays on Australian Art, History and Cultural Politics collates a wide-range of essays on the life, work, and legacies of an Australian art historian whose prolific and varied career spanned seven decades. These essays, which are often tightly framed to cover an aspect or key topic in Smith’s career, and which are frequently a form of intellectual biography, give varied insight into Smith’s multiple works and engagements, as he helped to dramatically increase the cultural infrastructure and scholarship around Australian art, while ever wielding a complexly conceived ‘antipodean perspective.’ The review considers each of the four sections of the volume: on Smith’s seminal European Vision and the South Pacific (1960), his role in defining Australian Art, his various work in and interactions with public art museums, and his broader cultural politics.

Key Words: Bernard Smith, Australian art history, Antipodean Manifesto, European Vision and the South Pacific, The Legacies of Bernard Smith

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