Recent exhibition, Creativity & Correspondence: The George Paton Gallery Archive 1971-1990 and other images from the archive.

The appointment of Kiffy Rubbo in October 1971 as Director of the Ewing Gallery and Rowden White Library, marks the beginning of one of the most influential contemporary art spaces in Melbourne’s history.

The Ewing Gallery (as it was then known) was established in 1938 to house a permanent exhibition of The Ewing Collection of Australian painting. The collection was exhibited continuously from 1938 until October 1971. When Kiffy Rubbo was appointed the brief for the Ewing Gallery was expanded to begin a program of changing temporary exhibitions with funding provided by the student union.

The first Australia Council grant round was held in 1973 and the Ewing received $3,000 towards its 1974 program. Council funding was received every year until 1990, and this transformed the operations of the gallery and greatly improved the quality of exhibition documentation from 1974 onwards.

In a unique position at the beginning of the 1970’s as Australia’s only avant-garde gallery with institutional support, the Ewing and George Paton benefited from the investment of energy made by a large group of young experimental artists and associated students and academics. Amongst the diverse range of exhibitions and events held during the 1970’s and 1980’s can be found most of Australia’s acclaimed contemporary artists, curators and art writers of today.

Creativity & Correspondence: The George Paton Gallery Archive 1971-1990 explored key relationships and the creative process between artists and gallery directors during the first two decades of the gallery’s history. The exhibition featured original archival material including correspondence, photographs, slides, catalogues, early video art and posters.

Students in Art Curatorship and Cultural Heritage Charmaine Ching, Alice Mathieu and Jeremy McEachern had the opportunity to curate the exhibition through the University’s Cultural Collections Projects program. The exhibition drew inspiration from the beginnings of the blog created by archivist Georgina Ward.

The exhibition also launched the recently-completed catalogue of the archive,  catalogued with support from the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund.

The opening night was a great success, with many attending and fantastic speeches from Dr Heather Gaunt, Curator of Academic Programs, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne; Dr Meredith Rogers, director, designer and dramaturg, Honorary Research Associate, Latrobe University and Dr Janine Burke, historian, writer, and curator, Monash University.

Thank you to all who attended the opening night and visited the exhibition.

Kiffy Rubbo in Gallery Office, undated, George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144 BWN/1285 University of Melbourne Archives

Kiffy Rubbo in Gallery Office, undated, George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144 BWN/1,285
University of Melbourne Archives

Photograph (digital reproduction of slide) Denise Robinson and Vivienne Shark Lewitt working in George Paton Gallery Office George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144 SL/6,292 University of Melbourne Archives Denise Robinson (May 1982-Jan 1986) went on to be the founding Director of Artspace in Sydney

Photograph (digital reproduction of slide)
Denise Robinson and Vivienne Shark Lewitt working in George Paton Gallery Office, c.1982-c.1986
George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144 SL/6,292
University of Melbourne Archives
Denise Robinson (May 1982-Jan 1986) went on to be the founding Director of Artspace in Sydney

Meredith Rogers in Gallery Office, undated, George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144 BWN/1,306 University of Melbourne Archives

Meredith Rogers in Gallery Office, undated, George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144 BWN/1,306
University of Melbourne Archives

Poster 5 Artists + 5 Architects Howard Arkley, Howard Ragget, John Nixon, Ian McDougall, Roger Kemp, Peter Corrigan, Tony Clark, Ivan Rijavek, Julie Brown-Rrap, Norman Day,  Mixed Media  George Paton Gallery George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144.0533  University of Melbourne Archives

Poster 5 Artists + 5 Architects
Howard Arkley, Howard Ragget, John Nixon, Ian McDougall, Roger Kemp, Peter Corrigan, Tony Clark, Ivan Rijavek, Julie Brown-Rrap, Norman Day,
Mixed Media
George Paton Gallery
George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144.0533
University of Melbourne Archives

Poster Reel Women Clare Jaeger, Sue Ford, Madelon Wilkins, Natalie Green, Women's Collective, Half Way House Collective, Monique Schwarz, Carole Sklan, Kerry Dwyer, Maureen McCarthy, Hanna Dunn,  Film screenings, discussions and workshops George Paton Gallery 27 April 1981-1June 1981 George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144.0533  University of Melbourne Archives

Poster Reel Women
Clare Jaeger, Sue Ford, Madelon Wilkins, Natalie Green, Women’s Collective, Half Way House Collective, Monique Schwarz, Carole Sklan, Kerry Dwyer, Maureen McCarthy, Hanna Dunn,
Film screenings, discussions and workshops
George Paton Gallery
27 April 1981-1June 1981
George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144.0533
University of Melbourne Archives

Poster Art Show  c.1986 On September 28 1985, the Union Board voted to close the George Paton Gallery, however due to a variety of legal obligations, such as existing contracts with staff, the decision was reversed by the Vice Chancellor and a reprieve was granted to August 1986. In the interim the fate of the gallery was to be decided by two referenda of the student body.  George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144.0534  University of Melbourne Archives

Poster Art Show
c.1986
On September 28 1985, the Union Board voted to close the George Paton Gallery, however due to a variety of legal obligations, such as existing contracts with staff, the decision was reversed by the Vice Chancellor and a reprieve was granted to August 1986. In the interim the fate of the gallery was to be decided by two referenda of the student body.
George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144.0534
University of Melbourne Archives

Poster Australian Women Artists:            One Hundred Years: 1840-1940 Mixed Media  Curated by Janine Burke Ewing and George Paton Galleries 2 September 1975-27 September 1975 George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144.0533  University of Melbourne Archives

Poster Australian Women Artists:
One Hundred Years: 1840-1940
Mixed Media
Curated by Janine Burke
Ewing and George Paton Galleries
2 September 1975-27 September 1975
George Paton Gallery Collection, 1990.0144.0533
University of Melbourne Archives

Catalogues on diplay, courtesy of George Paton Gallery.  Note, collection catalogues available for access through University of Melbourne Archives Photograph: Sandie Bridie

Catalogues on diplay, courtesy of George Paton Gallery. Note, collection catalogues available for access through University of Melbourne Archives
Photograph: Sandie Bridie

Opening Night: Janine Burke speaking about her involvement in the gallery, being a student at University of Melbourne, working with Kiffy Rubbo and curating her first show, 'A Room of One's Own' 1974.

Opening Night: Janine Burke – Reflecting on early curatorial experiences
Photograph: Sandie Bridie

Opening Night: Janine Burke

Opening Night: Janine Burke
Photograph: Melinda Barrie

Opening Night

Opening Night: Susan Hewitt viewing collection items
Photograph: Sandie Bridie

Opening Night: Meredith Rogers (assistant director 1974-1979) – Reflecting on working with artists and curators in the Gallery
Photograph: Sandie Bridie

Opening Night: Meredith Rogers (George Paton Gallery Assistant Director 1974-1979), Katrina Dean (University of Melbourne Archivist), Shane Carmody (Library Senior Development Manager) and Sandra Bridie (University of Melbourne Student Union Arts Programs Coordinator) Photograph: Melinda Barry

Opening Night: Meredith Rogers (George Paton Gallery Assistant Director 1974-1979), Katrina Dean (University of Melbourne Archivist), Shane Carmody (University of Melbourne Senior Development Manager) and Sandie Bridie (University of Melbourne Student Union Arts Programs Coordinator)
Photograph: Melinda Barrie

Opening Night: Art Curatorship student Charmaine Ching (Centre); Mark Rubbo and Susan Hewitt (far right) Photograph: Melinda Barrie

Opening Night: Sandie Bride (Universiyt of Melbourne Student Union, Arts Programs Coordinator), Meredith Rogers (right). Photograph: Melinda Barry

Opening Night: Sandie Bride (University of Melbourne Student Union, Arts Programs Coordinator), Meredith Rogers (right)
Photograph: Melinda Barrie

Opening Night: Cultural Heritage student, Jeremy McEachern
Photograph: Melinda Barrie

Art Curatorship student, Alice Mathieu, invigilating Exhibition Photo: Sandie Bridie

Art Curatorship student, Alice Mathieu, invigilating Exhibition
Photograph: Sandie Bridie

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