Bernard Smith and 'The Myth of Isolation': A Symposium

Saturday 19 November 2011
UQ Art Museum

In 1961 the great Australian art historian Bernard Smith gave two lectures at The University of Queensland, in memory of the prominent Queensland politician John Murtagh Macrossan. The first of these, ‘The Myth of Isolation’, was published the year after by the University of Queensland Press.
Smith died earlier this year at the age of 94. Over an almost 60-year career, he authored two major texts on Australian art history and European Vision and the South Pacific (1960), which has some claim to be the most important book ever written about Australian culture.
To celebrate Smith’s life and career, and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ‘The Myth of Isolation’ being delivered at this University, the School of English, Media Studies and Art History and the UQ Art Museum are presenting three lectures on Smith’s work by Sheridan Palmer, Peter Beilharz and Rex Butler.

Further information 

Presented by the School of English, Media Studies and Art History and the UQ Art Museum, convened by Rex Butler

10.00 am
Welcome and introduction
10.15 am
The Lone Antipodean Rider – Bernard Smith and post-war modernism
Dr Sheridan Palmer is a Fellow of the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne and an Honorary Associate of La Trobe University. She is currently writing the biography of Bernard Smith.
11.15 am
Bernard Smith's Marxism
Peter Beilharz is Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University. He is the author of many books, including Imagining the Antipodes: Culture, Theory and the Visual in the Work of Bernard Smith (1997).
12.15 pm
12.45 pm
The Real Choice: Abstraction or Surrealism
Rex Butler is Associate Professor in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at The University of Queensland. He is currently working on a history of ‘UnAustralian’ art.

Bernard Smith 1916-2011