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William Dobell, an artist’s life

William Dobell,    An artist’s Life

Elizabeth Donaldson has written a book that brings this fine artist to life.  It is produced  by Exisle Publishing, directed in Australia by Anouska Jones.

 Having for many years had an association with his house at Wangi in New South Wales and feeling that the full story of the life of Sir William Dobell had not been told, Elizabeth has produced an excellent biography that is profusely illustrated with photographs and images of the master’s work.  Artists are, in my experience, invariably people of place and the humble cottage at Wangi built by the artist’s father was to be his home and base for his adventures and inspiration throughout the latter part of his life.  

I visited him there on several occasions when I was a student at his old school, The Sydney Art School, where he had studied with Julian Rossi Ashton and Henry Cornwallis Gibbons.  He was pleased to reminisce about his student days and spoke fondly of Julian Ashton, who had acquired one of his first paintings.  One of his fellow students at the school at that time was Joshua Smith, the subject of the famously  contested Archibald Prize in 1942.

This informative book has been a labour of love for the author, staunchly supported by her husband Robert and it was my privilege to be invited to launch the book at the Newcastle Art Gallery on Friday 24th September  2010.

This book is a “must collect” for every Australian art library.