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Depths of ignorance

The Royal Academy’s new exhibition shows how little Brits know about Australian art

By Germaine Greer   November 2013













John Olsen’s Sydney Sun, 1965, on display in the “Australia” show © DACS 2013

Australian art used to be well known and widely collected in Britain. As long ago as 1898 the Grafton Galleries could put on a show of Australian painting without apology or explanation. In 1923 the painter Elioth Gruner curated an exhibition of Australian art at Burlington House. In 1961 the Whitechapel Gallery hosted an exhibition called “Recent Australian Painting” with works by Arthur Boyd,…

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