Compare the pair – #2 Sidney Nolan

nolanOne of these pictures is a replica of a hanging Nolan artwork in a prominent gallery, the other is a kindred copy found on a commissioned wall of a famous and iconic department store. According to Wikipedia, Sir Sidney Robert Nolan OM, AC (22 April 1917 – 28 November 1992) was one of Australia’s best-known painters and print-makers. His most famous work was a  series of stylised descriptions of the bush-ranger Ned Kelly in the Australian Outback. Nolan bequeathed the famous 1946-47 series of Ned Kelly paintings at the “Heide” gallery.

Nolan on DimmeysInterestingly, huge supporters of Nolan were a husband and wife team – John and Sunday Reed. A great partnership existed between this group for some time. Until a stage developed, when Nolan wrote to Sunday Reed to tell her to take what she wanted in the way of  paintings. Despite this arrangement, Nolan subsequently demanded all of his works back. Sunday returned 284 other paintings and drawings to Nolan, but she refused to give up the 25 remaining Kelly’s, partly because she saw the works as fundamental to the proposed Heide Museum of Modern Art.  Subsequently, she gave the remaining paintings to the National Gallery of Australia in 1977 and this resolved their dispute.

The first example on this page is a copy of a postcard I purchased some years ago, after seeing examples of the Kelly collection. The second is of a replica as photographed on a wall depicting Australian history – on Dimmey’s wall in Richmond.

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