Academia and Bohemia: New Perspectives on the National Gallery School – Wednesday June 21 – VCA


The full program for the free one-day symposium Academia and Bohemia: new perspectives on the National Gallery School, including abstracts and biographies, is now available on the VCA events website: 

Date: Wednesday 21 June 2017

Venue: Federation Hall, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, Grant Street, Southbank.

Enquiries: Alison Inglis:

Summary of Symposium Program
10.15 am Registration  

10.30 am-12.15 pm Session One

Professor Su Baker (Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne)

Assoc. Professor Alison Inglis (University of Melbourne) and Fiona Moore (University of Melbourne)

The National Gallery School from 1867 to World War One – collection, creativity and chroniclers
Annelies Van de Ven (University of Melbourne)

“Moulding the Public Taste” – Casts in the NGV collection
Michael Varcoe-Cocks (National Gallery of Victoria)

Awakening passion: The formative decades of the National Gallery School

12.15–1.15 pm Lunch

1.15–3.00 pm  Session Two

David Belzycki (Independent Scholar)

Folingsby: innovator and instigator
Dr Stephen Mead (Independent Scholar)

The Cannibal Club: A home for Melbourne art students
Alexandra Ellem (University of Melbourne)

Hugh Ramsay & His Mentors: ‘Australia … does not yet realize what she has lost in him, but she will in time’. (John Longstaff)

3.00–3.30 pm     Afternoon Break

3.30–5.00 pm     Session Three

Dr Bronwyn Hughes (Independent Scholar)

ART FOR EMPIRE: National Gallery Students and the Great War Effort
Professor Catherine Speck (University of Adelaide)

And what of the women?
Final discussion.

5.00–5.15 pm     Short Break

5.30 – 6.30 pm   
Keynote Lecture
Federation Hall, Victorian College of the Arts

Terence Lane OAM

The 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition: A Cultural Landmark

6.30 – 7.30 pm   Drinks and Conversation

Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts

Fiona Gruber ‘in conversation’ with Elizabeth Gower, followed by a viewing of 9 X 5 NOWExhibition.

7.30 pm End of event


A free one-day symposium, which presents new perspectives on the National Gallery of Victoria’s Art School, is organised by the Australian Institute of Art History (AIAH) in the Faculty of Arts, in collaboration with the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), as part of the celebrations in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Victorian College of the Arts. Founded in 1867, the National Gallery Art School has remained the leading continuous centre of academic art training in Australia, becoming the first school of the Victorian College of the Arts in 1973, and later affiliating with the University of Melbourne in 1991.

You are invited to hear a group of experts, including Michael Varcoe-Cocks (National Gallery of Victoria), Professor Catherine Speck (University of Adelaide), Dr Stephen Mead (independent scholar), Dr Bronwyn Hughes (independent scholar), Ms Alexandra Ellem (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Alison Inglis (University of Melbourne), Ms Annelies Van de Ven (University of Melbourne), and Mr David Belzycki (independent scholar), discuss different aspects of the history of this remarkable Art School, focussing on its early years from 1867 to World War One.

Many luminaries of Australian art history were students or teachers at the School during this time – including Eugene von Guerard, George Folingsby, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Jane Sutherland, Frederick McCubbin, Bernard Hall, Rose MacPherson (Margaret Preston), Hugh Ramsay, among others. The links between the National Gallery School and Melbourne’s lively bohemian culture will be a major theme of the symposium, with the keynote lecture on the famous “9 by 5 Impression Exhibition” of 1889 being presented by Mr Terence Lane, an acknowledged expert in this field, and former Senior

Curator of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria. The event commences at 10.30am, with three sessions of papers being presented between 10.30am and 5.00pm.

Between 5.30-6.30 pm, the Keynote Address will be presented by Terence Lane OAM, (independent art historian and writer; former Senior Curator of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria): “The 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition”: a cultural landmark.

From 6.30-7.30 pm, there will be Drinks and Conversation in the Margaret Lawrence Gallery: Fiona Gruber in conversation with Elizabeth Gower, and a viewing of 9 X 5 NOW Exhibition.


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

10.30am – 6.30pm

Federation Hall,

Victorian College of the Arts

Grant Street, SOUTHBANK, VIC 3006

Admission is free.

Bookings are required.

Seating is limited.

To register visit:

For further information please contact Alison Inglis:


Image: Samuel Calvert, “Sketches at the School of Design [at the National Gallery School]”, 30 April 1887, wood engraving, Illustrated Australian News; Source: State Library of Victoria (detail)

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