First the Grand Prix, now it’s the Heysens
MELBOURNE has grabbed another piece of the South Australian cultural landscape.
The first major exhibition combining art works by SA’s great landscape painter Sir Hans Heysen, and his Archibald prize-winning daughter, Nora, will open in Melbourne next March.
The National Gallery of Victoria will feature 300 works sourced from public and private collections including state galleries and The Cedars, Hans Heysen’s heritage property turned gallery near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.
Hopes the exhibition would travel to the Art Gallery of SA after its four-month NGV run have been quashed by AGSA’s acting co-director Lisa Slade.
Ms Slade said AGSA’s schedule precluded the exhibition and it would travel to Adelaide only if a new gallery director decided to “reorientate the exhibition program”.
AGSA is searching for a replacement for Nick Mitzevich who left to lead the National Gallery in Canberra.
Ms Slade said the NGA came up with the idea for the father-daughter exhibition.
AGSA would lend about 100 works including Hans Heysen’s iconic 1904 Mystic Morn and Nora’s 1933 portrait Ruth, both currently on display in the Melrose Wing.
The Cedars curator Allan Campbell said The Cedars, Heysen’s studio and home with his wife Sallie and the couple’s eight children, would be a major lender of art works, furnishings and objects.
He was delighted the NGV would host the exhibition but had hoped it would travel here.
“That was the original plan,” he said.
Nora was Australia’s first female war artist. and the first woman to win the Archibald Prize. She shared her father’s studio for four years as a teenager before studying overseas then moving to Sydney.
TOGETHER: Sir Hans Heysen and his artist daughter, Nora