The Art World Came to Us: The Macquarie Galleries 1938 - 1963

14 September – 17 November 2024

official opening Saturday 14 September | 5 pm - 7 pm

Macquarie Galleries was a gallery of crucial importance in Sydney's cultural life. It was the oldest commercial gallery in Australia when it closed in 1993. Basil Burdett and John Young founded the gallery in 1925, and it flourished under the directorship of Treania Smith (1938-1975), Lucy Swanton (1938-1956), and Mary Turner (1956-1975). 

They were educated, cosmopolitan, competent women who managed dozens of artists and staged several exhibitions annually. The ambit of the galleries was broad. They supported artists of their time early in their artistic careers. Australian Painters exhibited most frequently, but there were also exhibitions of sculpture, pottery, stage designs and other art forms that were emerging at the time. Clients of the Galleries were Sydney's elites, but through their egalitarian approach with the FiveSix and Eight Guinea exhibitions, the Galleries made fine art accessible to the masses. 

The Art World Came to Us: Macquarie Galleries exhibition at Ngununggula celebrates women at the helm of Australian art who carved out a new way of working and representing artists during significant global conflict. It is the first major survey of the Macquarie Galleries and acknowledges a significant period in Australian Art History.

Featuring over 60 Australian artists, this exhibition celebrates the Macquarie Galleries legacy and allows us to forge strong partnerships between our State and National institutions to celebrate this little-known history. 

ARTISTS: Jean Appleton, Herbert Badham, Ralph Balson, Jean Bellette, Dorrit Black, Nancy Borlase, Arthur Boyd, Rupert Bunny, Robert Campbell, Ethel Carrick Fox, Grace Cossington-Smith, Ray Crooke, Roy de Mastre, Desmond Digby, William Dobell, Russell Drysdale, George Duncan, Douglas Dundas, Ian Fairweather, Cedric Flower, Roy Fluke, Hector Gilliland, James Gleeson, Tom Gleghorn, Nancy Goldfinch, Paul Haefliger, Weaver Hawkins, Elaine Haxton, Sali Herman, Frank Hinder, Ena Joyce, Jack Noel Kilgour, Robert Klippel, Michael Kmit, George Lawrence, Lionel Lindsay, Francis Lymburner, Godfrey Miller, Arthur Murch, Sidney Nolan, Justin O’Brien, Margaret Olley, John Olsen, Orban Desiderius, Ethleen Palmer, John Passmore, Carl Plate, Margaret Preston, Thea Proctor, Lloyd Rees, Alison Rehfisch, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Loudon Sainthill, Arnold Shore, Jeffrey Smart, David Strachan, Sydney Ure-Smith, Roland Wakelin, Mary Webb, Anne Wienholt.

A 200-page publication will accompany the exhibition. Publication Sponsors: Gordon Darling Foundation and Robyn Martin-Weber. Designed by Hayman Design.

14 September – 17 November 2024 THE ART WORLD CAME TO US: THE MACQUARIE GALLERIES 1938 - 1963,