Dr Ross McMullin: Will Dyson, Australia's Radical Genius

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Curatorship students of the ANU School of Art’s Centre for Art History and Art Theory have been working with their lecturer David Hansen on the National Gallery of Australia’s forthcoming Artists of the Great War exhibition. One of the heroes of this exhibition is Australia’s first Official War Artist, Will Dyson, represented in the show with more than 20 paintings, drawings and prints.

Dyson is a remarkable but sadly under-appreciated figure in our cultural history: a close friend of the celebrated Lindsay family (he was married to fellow-artist Ruby), a caricaturist of mordant wit and socialist inclination, a prolific war artist who once said “I’ll never draw a line to show war except as the filthy business it is,” and in later life a maker of exquisite satirical etchings.

Ross McMullin has written extensively about Australia's involvement in the First World War. His book Will Dyson: Australia's Radical Genius was shortlisted for the National Biography Award.Pompey Elliott won awards for biography and literature. Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History. His other books include the ALP centenary history The Light on the Hill.

This event is in conjunction with the exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia Artists of the Great War (29 October 2016 – June 2017 ) http://nga.gov.au/Greatwar/Default.cfm