Australia a proudly artistic nation, says Mosman Park Queen’s Birthday honours recipient Anna Gray

Australia a proudly artistic nation, says Mosman Park Queen’s Birthday honours recipient Anna Gray

MOSMAN Park resident Anna Gray says Australia is every bit an artistic nation as it is a sporting one.

The 69-year-old was today appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for her services to art.

The honour was presented for her services as an art curator, scholar and historian of Australian artists, and for her promotion of cultural heritage.

“I certainly said at a (recent British) exhibition that Australia is an artistic nation as much as a sporting nation,” she said.

Born and raised not far from where she lives beside the Swan River, Dr Gray spent 40 years working for both the National Gallery and Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

She was the head of Australian art at the gallery from 2001 to 2016, the Lawrence Wilson Gallery director from 1995 to 2001 and head of art at the Australian War Memorial from 1980 to 1995.

Her art books’ subjects include artists Tom Roberts and Frederick McCubbin, the letters of Arthur Streeton and the memorial’s art masterpieces.

She organised the Australia exhibition at the Royal College of Art in London in 2013.

“The British people didn’t even know Australian art, but at the end of that exhibition that perception had changed,” Dr Gray said.

She said she took delight in knowing that Australians appreciated the art of their nation.

In 2016, she curated an exhibition of Tom Robert’s works at the National Gallery.

“As many people attended that as many of our international ‘blockbuster’ exhibitions,” Dr Gray said.

In other Queen’s Birthday honours, WA’s chief scientist, Professor Peter Klinken, of Subiaco, was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for service to medical research, including the genetics of major diseases.

Medals of the Order of Australia were awarded to Shenton Park resident Geoffrey Alexander for executive government and community safety work, and Claremont’s Prudence Stone for her support of mental health services.

MORE: Teen suffers chemical burns after making ‘slime’

MORE: Off-duty police officer on morning walk arrests two women

MORE: Man charged over incident involving 12-year-old girl