Family collections reinforce art auction value

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 30th November, 2015

Works from several family collections highlight Deutscher and Hackett’s forthcoming Important Fine Art and Aboriginal Art Sydney auction from 7pm Wednesday December 2 at Cell Block Theatre, National Art School in Forbes Street, Darlinghurst.

The first 20 lots belong to Sydney’s Ure Smith family and are of great historical significance.

Publisher Sydney Ure Smith (who died in 1949) was recognised as one of Australia’s greatest art patrons because he promoted some of the country’s best-known artists (such as Margaret Preston, Thea Proctor, Hans Heysen, Lionel Lindsay, George Lambert, Adrian Feint and J.D. Moore) – and others like Ronald Wakelin, Lloyd Rees and D.H. Souter were illustrators for his publications.

In his role as NSW Society of Arts president, trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW and close friend of Charles Lloyd Jones, James McGregor and Robert Menzies, Sydney Ure Smith views on what was healthy for Australian art bolstered quasi-official taste until his death.

Other collections for auction include Dr Philip Rasmussen and Roy and Nancy Melick.

The Melicks met in 1948 in Canada and Nancy then followed Roy back to Australia where they were married the following year.

They were introduced to art by their good friends Peter and Jane Elliott (already avid collectors known for their of Australian, Asian and tribal arts) and their collection really expanded once they moved in the 1960s to their designer built new home in Vaucluse – helped in no uncertain terms through their friendships with artists and gallery owners.

All three collections feature prominent Australian artists of the past including Grace Cossington Smith, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Jeffrey Smart, Justin O’Brien, Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker, Fred Williams, Robert Dickerson, Norman Lindsay, David Boyd and Charles Blackman.


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