Monday, February 19, 2018

First reflections on the opening of NERAM's permanent exhibition of the Hinton collection

Opening of the permanent exhibition of the Hinton Collection at the New England Regional Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Paul Barratt.  

Part of the reason why I have been so quiet here is that I have been busy preparing a public lecture I gave Saturday as part of the opening ceremonies of the permanent exhibition of the Hinton collection at the New England Regional Art Museum.  

Starting in 1929 and continuing until his death in 1948, Howard Hinton gave over 1,000 artworks plus 700 art books to the Armidale Teachers' College. The result is one of the greatest art collections in Australia seen through the eyes of a single collector.

The concentration of such a large number of artworks in a small space is quite sumptuous. This is an exhibition you need to savour. Photo courtesy of Paul Barratt. . 

The sheer size of the collection makes it impossible to exhibit all pieces. So the gallery has chosen 230 or so pieces that can be rotated from time to time.  This number of paintings makes for a concentrated hanging in a small space. The impact is overwhelming. If visiting, you need time to enjoy the works,

In mt talk, I focused on the early days of the Armidale Teachers' College, while art historian Micheal Mignard focused on Hinton. This was a fascinating talk, telling me much I did not know.  As summarised by Paul Barratt:
Mike observed that the Hinton Collection is the best collection in the country of the Heidelberg School when they moved from Heidelberg to Sydney. It is also an important insight into what was going on in the Sydney art world in the 1920s and 1930s. Hinton knew the artists, and his standing as a collector was such that he would be granted early access to new exhibitions and would have first chop at buying the ones that caught his eye. The majority of these ended up at Armidale Teachers College, which also received the paintings in his personal collection when he died.

The New England Conservatorium of Music's Dixie Six at the exhibition opening.  Fabulous jazz. 

It will take me a little while to write up my notes from the trip and do the necessary follow-up. Each time I go to Armidale I end up with more action items than when I began! 


Rebecca said...

Hi Jim,
I enjoyed your talk on Saturday. I take a small issue with one thing that you said and that was that the second intake of the Teachers College in 1931 only had 20 students. My grandparents were in this intake (indeed if it were not for the college I would not exist!) and I have a copy of the 1932 Attica which contains photographs of sporting teams, there being at least 28 students in various teams.
The Heritage Centre also has a photograph that belonged to my grandmother (my mother insisted it be donated otherwise I would still have it) and it shows the 1931 year out the front of the college with a (now vintage) car also in the picture. I have often wondered why this photograph is not on the wall in the College as photos from other years are displayed and I can only surmise that its existence is not known.


Anonymous said...

What Rebecca said - because that's great first-hand history - and also, the Dixie Six seem to have seven members?


Anonymous said...

(and that's not counting the drums, at the rear :)

We need a full accounting!


Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Rebecca and thanks. I am so glad you enjoyed my talk.

Checking Newling's autobio, he says that it was the 1932 intake that was 13 men and five women.

I hadn't counted kvd, but you are right of course! A performance the next day had even more! But the six is in the title!