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Grazia Gunn
, 2014

by Jacqueline Mitelman

inkjet print (sheet: 51.0 cm x 56.2 cm, image: 33.7 cm x 40.0 cm)

Grazia Gunn, art scholar, curator and critic, was born to French-speaking Greek and Italian parents in Cairo and came to Australian in the early 1950s, aged fifteen. Having studied at the National Gallery School under John Brack, she worked as an interior designer in the early 1970s before beginning her art career as curator at the art gallery of the University of Melbourne. After a stint as project officer with the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council in 1974–75 she became a curator of the art collection of Monash University, working with Patrick McCaughey to establish the institution’s gallery. A curator in the international art department of the Australian National Gallery from 1981 to 1989, she catalogued the Arthur Boyd gift of some 2000 artworks, and curated two Boyd exhibitions. She was commissioner and curator for the Australian pavilion of the 1988 Venice Biennale. In 1989 she returned to Melbourne to become the director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. From 1995 to 2003 she lectured in modernism at the University of Cambridge. Once again Melbourne-based, she has reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement, Art and Australia, ArtMonthly and the Australian Book Review; her latest project is The Modernisation of Egypt and the Dynamics of Cultural Exchange 1798–1882.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased with funds provided by Wayne Williams 2015
Accession number: 2015.127