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Bernard Smith is one of Australia’s most distinguished art historians. Developing Australians’ interest in, and knowledge of, our artistic traditions has been the focus of his life. Passionate about politics, painting and history, in this interview he talks of his decisions to be a Communist rather than a Catholic, an art historian rather than a painter. He discusses his own art and years of scholarship, writing and teaching. He set a benchmark with his book Place, Taste and Tradition (the first systematic history of Australian art), caused a sensation with The Antipodean Manifesto (a criticism of abstractionism) and was still courting controversy at the age of 85 when he posed nude for a portrait in the Archibald Prize.
(2003, 26 mins) A Film Australia National Interest Program.
© National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
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