05 April 2016

VC David Lloyd with Barry Pearce and Dr Wendy CraikThe University of South Australia will welcome Barry Pearce as a Fellow of the University on April 5 recognising his invaluable contribution to Australian art and his alma mater, UniSA.

An internationally renowned expert in Australian art, Pearce graduated with a Diploma of Art (Teaching) from UniSA antecedent Western Teacher’s College and went on over the next 50 years to build an internationally respected career in art curation, research, and education.

Author of more than 35 books and exhibition catalogues and 50 journal articles and curator of over 40 exhibitions, he started out at the South Australian Art Gallery as an education officer before quickly advancing to a curatorial role.

His gallery career has taken him to London’s British Museum and then back to work in important roles at the state art galleries in SA, WA and NSW.

In 1978 he became curator of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, a career that lasted 30 years and one that underpinned his enormous contribution to Australian art history through his research and his prolific contributions to magazines, journals and catalogues.

His specialist knowledge of the works of Australian artist Jeffrey Smart and his contemporaries made him the best candidate to curate the major retrospective – Master of Stillness: Jeffrey Smart Paintings 1940 - 2011 – opened at UniSA’s Samstag Museum of Art in 2012. He also authored a book about the artist and his work under the same title.

Announcing the Fellowship, UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said Pearce had been one of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable ambassadors for Australian art at home and abroad.

“Barry’s passion for Australian art is palpable,” he says.

“We are extremely proud to count him as one of our alumni and to honour the extraordinary contribution he has made to our knowledge and appreciation of Australian art.” 

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office +61 883020966 mob 0418823673 email michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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