MOS­MAN PARK CU­RA­TOR HON­OURED

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By JON BAS­SETT

MOS­MAN Park res­i­dent Anna Gray says Aus­tralia is ev­ery bit an artis­tic na­tion as it is a sport­ing one.

The 69-year-old has been ap­pointed a Mem­ber of the Or­der of Aus­tralia in the Queen’s Birthday hon­ours list for her ser­vices to art.

The hon­our was pre­sented for her ser­vices as an art cu­ra­tor, scholar and his­to­rian of Aus­tralian artists, and for her pro­mo­tion of cul­tural her­itage.

“I certainly said at a re­cent Bri­tish ex­hi­bi­tion that Aus­tralia is an artis­tic na­tion as much as a sport­ing na­tion,” she said.

Born and raised not far from where she lives be­side the Swan River, Dr Gray spent 40 years work­ing for both the Na­tional Gallery and Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial in Can­berra.

She was the head of Aus­tralian art at the gallery from 2001 to 2016, the Lawrence Wil­son Gallery di­rec­tor from 1995 to 2001 and head of art at the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial from 1980 to 1995.

Her art book sub­jects in­clude artists Tom Roberts and Fred­er­ick Mc­cub­bin, the let­ters of Arthur Stree­ton and the me­mo­rial’s art mas­ter­pieces.

She or­gan­ised the Aus­tralia ex­hi­bi­tion at the Royal Col­lege of Art in Lon­don in 2013. “The Bri­tish peo­ple didn’t even know Aus­tralian art, but at the end of that ex­hi­bi­tion that per­cep­tion had changed,” Dr Gray said.

She took de­light in know­ing that Aus­tralians ap­pre­ci­ated the art of their na­tion.

In 2016, she cu­rated an ex­hi­bi­tion of Tom Robert’s works at the Na­tional Gallery.

“As many peo­ple at­tended that as many of our in­ter­na­tional ‘block­buster’ ex­hi­bi­tions,” Dr Gray said.

In other Queen’s Birthday hon­ours, WA’S chief sci­en­tist, Pro­fes­sor Peter Klinken, of Su­bi­aco, was ap­pointed a Com­pan­ion of the Or­der of Aus­tralia for ser­vice to med­i­cal re­search, in­clud­ing the ge­net­ics of ma­jor dis­eases.

Medals of the Or­der of Aus­tralia were awarded to Shen­ton Park res­i­dent Ge­of­frey Alexan­der for ex­ec­u­tive gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity safety work, and Clare­mont’s Pru­dence Stone for her sup­port of men­tal health ser­vices.

The Bri­tish peo­ple didn’t even know Aus­tralian art, but at the end of that ex­hi­bi­tion that per­cep­tion had changed.

Pic­ture Jon Bas­sett

Dr Anna Gray has an AM for her ser­vices to Aus­tralian art.

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