Curator: Henry Skerritt
Imagine the shock of first setting eyes upon a new world. From the voyages of James Cook to the arrival of modernism, Experimental gentlemen chronicles a changing vision and understanding of Australia. Bold and irreverent, it is an attempt to reinstate the sense of awe and wonderment that inspired early explorers to risk their lives in the pursuit of new sights and experiences.
The exhibition investigates changing attitudes to the Australian landscape and its inhabitants, revealing how narratives of nationhood are shaped by our desires, perspectives and beliefs.
Featuring works by Australia’s leading colonial artists, including William Strutt, John Glover, Eugene von Guérard and Augustus Earle, along with rarely seen archival material and illustrated books, all drawn from the university’s Sir Russell and Mab Grimwade Collection, Experimental gentlemen invites us on a voyage of discovery, to see the imagined landscape of the Australian nation afresh.