This edition of Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria traverses the centuries, from Carl Villis’s detailed study of the NGV’s fifteenth-century Virgin and Child panel, to Paola Di Trocchio’s careful examination of an eighteenth-century man’s coat, to Stephen Jones’s survey of the Gallery’s early collecting practices in the field of video art.

We are particularly pleased to include an essay by leading Auguste Rodin scholar François Blanchetière on the NGV’s much-prized first cast of The thinker, alongside an account of this iconic work’s recent treatment by Senior Conservator David Thurrowgood. Matthew Martin’s fascinating essay on a rare English eighteenth-century porcelain group argues for the place of such porcelain within the wider field of sculptural production.

Judith Ryan’s commentary offers not only a history of Indigenous art exhibitions in France, but also a lively personal account of taking the NGV’s groundbreaking Tjukurrtjanu: Origins of Western Desert Art to the Musée du quai Branly, Paris. Artistic exchange and dialogue is also explored in Maggie Finch’s article on the seven-year correspondence between Robert Rooney and Roger Cutforth.

The diversity of works discussed in this issue reflects the extraordinary breadth and depth of the NGV’s collection. We hope you enjoy the scholarship and new research presented in these essays.


Jane Devery and Elena Taylor, Commissioning Editors