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

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