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Joseph Brown
, 1980

by Brian Dunlop

watercolour and gouache on paper (frame: 110 cm x 135.5 cm, sight: 72.3 cm x 100 cm)

Joseph Brown AO OBE (1918-2009), art collector, art dealer and philanthropist, arrived in Australia from his native Poland in 1933. He studied painting and sculpture, and exhibited his own art in 1963-1964, but mostly early in his life he set aside his artistic ambitions to engage in business and support his family. By 1967, he was in a position to open the Joseph Brown Gallery in Collins Street, Melbourne, at which he frequently showed mixed exhibitions of contemporary Australian art. Over time, Brown built up one of the finest private art collections in Australia, and made such substantial contributions to Australian art history that he was awarded three honorary doctorates. In 2004 the National Gallery of Victoria accepted Brown's gift of some 160 works from his collection, valued at $35 million; two hundred more works, of similar value, were auctioned.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE 2006
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2006.6