MS 9107
Papers of Noel Counihan

Scope Note
Biographical Note
Series List
Series Description
Box List

Scope Note


MS 9107


4.2 m. (30 boxes) + 2 folios

Available for reference

Noel Counihan (1913-1986) was a painter, cartoonist and illustrator of national standing noted for his socialist-realist style and radical outlook, whose reputation continued to grow after his death. He travelled extensively overseas and his art has been widely exhibited in Australia, Europe and Russia, as well as receiving permanent representation in a number of Australian galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia. A communist, his passionate concern with civil rights and free speech often led to conflicts with authorities.

In addition to the large body of papers amassed by Counihan during his lifetime, his widow Pat continued to maintain records of exhibitions, books, correspondence and articles concerning her husband’s art and career after his death in 1986. The resultant collection, which bears her numerous annotations, was extensively drawn upon by Bernard Smith for his biography Noel Counihan : artist and revolutionary (1993). Following publication of his study, Smith helped coordinate the transfer of the Counihan Papers to the Library, which were received in a single consignment in 1996.

The collection documents aspects of Counihan’s career from the 1930s to 1994, and includes extensive series of correspondence (personal, business, family and posthumous), together with articles, reviews, catalogues and invitations connected with his various artistic and writing activities. Also featured in the papers are appointment diaries, published and photographic copies of Counihan's artwork (especially cartoons and caricatures), typescript memoirs, a manuscript history of Russian art, articles and speeches by or about the artist, and a few photographs and books about his life and career.

Without doubt the richest component of the collection lies in the correspondence, which dates back to the 1930s, and includes many contacts maintained by Counihan’s wife until 1994. Numbering amongst correspondents are family, artists, writers, dealers, models and gallery owners, as well as purchasers of Counihan’s work who became friends. In terms of content the letters reflect not only Counihan’s own artistic output, but also important figures with whom he associated, and their artistic and political milieux. Counihan was a close friend of a number of prominent artists and writers such as Judah Waten and Alan Marshall, and maintained correspondence with other intellectuals including Frank Hardy, Nettie Palmer, Dymphna Cusack, H.C. Coombs and Manning Clark. Counihan's own letters are particularly revealing, with Smith describing him as someone who 'wrote constantly and self-reflectively to his family and friends, particularly in later life, and in his letters he gives highly personal accounts of his daily activities, of family life, and of his art'.

Readers can find further material which complements the Counihan Papers in other areas of the Library’s special collections. Nine folders of letters from Counihan and his son Terry are located in the Marshall Papers (MS 2741, 3992), whilst other items are filed in the correspondence of Judah Waten (MS 4536), Jack Lindsay (MS 7168), Katharine Susannah Prichard (MS 6201) and Winifred Stone (MS 7043), and in the records of Art and Australia magazine (MS 4665).

In addition, recordings of four interviews made with the artist between 1961 and 1986 are held in the Oral History Collection (ORAL TRC 33, 1059 and 2022 and ORAL DeB 13). The Library’s Pictorial Collection also houses portraits by Counihan of Vance Palmer (PIC R3881 Con1757) and Alan McCulloch (PIC R11453), painted in 1953 and 1978 respectively.

Biographical Note

1913 Born Jack Noel Counihan, Albert Park, Melbourne, 4 October
1930 Studied, National Gallery Art School, Melbourne
1930s Worked as freelance pencil portraitist and press caricaturist
1931 Joined Young Communist League; founding member Workers Art Club, Melbourne
1932 Unemployed, supported by dole payment
1935-36 Working trip through regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland with Judah Waten, drawing portraits and caricatures
1938 Drew town identities in Broken Hill, NSW followed by solo exhibition where two works purchased by the Broken Hill Art Gallery; foundation member of the Contemporary Art Society, Melbourne
1939-40 Freelance work in New Zealand but deported for involvement in anti-conscription movement
1942 Secretary, Artists’ Unity Congress; exhibited in Contemporary Art Society anti-fascist exhibition, Melbourne
1943 Spent five months recovering from tuberculosis
1944 Drew miners at Wonthaggi coal fields, including studies made underground
1945 Awarded prize in ‘Australia at War’ art exhibition
1945-49 Staff artist for The Guardian, Melbourne
1947 Miners series linocuts
1948 Lithographs of metal workers; awarded Albury Prize
1949-52 Travel studies and freelance artist in the United Kingdom, France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and The Netherlands
1950-52 Worked for World Trade Union Movement, London
1951 Exhibitions London, Warsaw
1952-58 Returned to Melbourne as staff artist for The Guardian
1954 Exhibition Copenhagen
1956 Four month visit to Italy, USSR and London
1956, 1957 Twice winner of the Crouch Prize, Ballarat
1958 McCaughey prize winner; awarded Victorian Artists Society drawing prize
1959 Bronze medallist, International Graphics competition, Leipzig
1960 Accompanied social realist exhibition to Moscow, Leningrad
1961-63 Council member of Victorian Artists’ Society
1967 Initiated The Broad Sheet with Udo Sellbach and Ian Turner; participated in anti-war exhibition, Melbourne and Adelaide
1969 Exhibitions of drawings and prints Poland, USSR; also visited Mexico, New York, England, Ireland, Italy, France, The Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and India
1973 Semi-retrospective exhibition National Gallery of Victoria and Commonwealth Gallery, London
1973-78 President, Print Council of Australia
1974 Occupancy, Australian studio, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; show at Marjorie Parr Gallery, London and participated in ‘Australian Artists in Britain’ (Flinders bicentenary celebrations), Lincoln; also visited Yugoslavia, Greece, Istanbul
1978 ‘Noel Counihan, Faces and Figures’ exhibition at Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre
1979 ‘Noel Counihan, 1944-79’, Realities Gallery, Melbourne
1980 Visited Opaul, France
1981 Opaul series lithographs; suffered heart attack and stroke
1984-85 Visited England, France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand
1986 Died 5 July, Melbourne
1988 Work represented in ‘The Face of Australia’ and ‘The Great Australian Art Exhibition’ bicentennial art shows
1991 Retrospective exhibition ‘Images of Working Life’

Series List

1. General and personal correspondence, 1930s-1990
2. Business correspondence and papers, 1940s-1987
3. Family correspondence and papers, 1956-1986
4. Diaries, 1949-1975
5. Artwork, 1930s-1994
6. Exhibitions, 1932-1993
7. Catalogues and reviews, 1932-1994
8. Writings by Noel Counihan, 1930s-c. 1990
9. Print Council of Australia, 1967-1982
10. Victorian Print Makers Group, 1979-1983
11. Victorian Print Workshop Advisory Committee, 1981-1986
12. Biographical papers, 1930s-1988
13. Posthumous correspondence and exhibitions, 1986-1994
14. Photographs, c. 1930-1991
15. Publications, 1974-1993

Series Description

Series 1 General and personal correspondence, 1930s-1990

A long series of letters exchanged between Noel and Pat Counihan and their many friends and associates in Australia and overseas. Most of the correspondence is original, with a smaller portion of photocopied letters filed in some folders.

Included in the list of prominent artists, writers and intellectuals whose correspondence is represented in this series are Alan Marshall, Herbert McClintock, Lloyd Rees, Bernard Smith, Jack and Meta Lindsay and Manning Clark. The work of John Brack, Frank Hardy, John Reed, Albert Tucker, Judah Waten, Fred Williams, Marshall and Rees are amongst the many topics discussed.

Also filed here are letters written in later life by one of Counihan’s early girlfriends Zélie McLeod (née Pimlott). Located with the letters of George Luke are illustrations for Marshall’s stories, caricatures and discussions of Marshall by Counihan and Luke, as well as material about Luke’s sculptures. The folders concerning Jim Wigley contain cuttings, catalogues and examples of Wigley’s book illustrations.

Other letters relating to Counihan’s business activities are filed in Series 2, and to his family affairs in Series 3. The main sequence of correspondence conducted with Counihan’s associates by his wife after 1986 is contained in Series 13.

1 Correspondence, 1930s-1940s
2 Correspondence, 1949
3 Correspondence, 1950-54
4 Correspondence, 1955-57
5 Correspondence, 1958-59
6 Correspondence, 1960
7 Correspondence, 1961
8 Correspondence, 1962
9 Correspondence, 1963
10 Correspondence, 1964
11 Correspondence, 1965
12 Correspondence, 1966
13 Correspondence, 1967
14 Correspondence, 1968
15 Correspondence, 1969
16 Correspondence, 1970
17 Correspondence, 1971
18 Correspondence, 1972
19 Correspondence, 1973
20 Correspondence, 1974
21 Correspondence, 1975
22 Correspondence, 1976
23 Correspondence, 1977
24 Correspondence, 1978
25 Correspondence, 1979
26 Correspondence, 1980
27-28 Correspondence, 1981
29 Correspondence, 1982
30 Correspondence, 1983
31 Correspondence, 1984
32 Correspondence, 1985
33-34 Correspondence, 1986
35 Undated correspondence
36 Correspondence with Krystyna Usarek (mostly photocopied), Anne Campbell-Dixon, Cal Younger and others, 1949-86
37 Correspondence with Edmund Kurtz, Jack Lindsay, Frank Zaborovsky, 1954-90
38 Letters from George Luke, 1958-81, together with papers and photographs relating to his work
39 Letters from Herbert McClintock, c. 1959-64, together with newspaper clippings, 1954, 1980 and exhibition catalogue for McClintock retrospective
40 Letters written to Lloyd Rees, Jack Beasley, Alan McCulloch, Lilian Renard, Eric Westbrook and others (original and photocopied), 1959-80
41-42 Letters from George Luke, 1960-68
43 Correspondence with Gré Armstrong, Wal Norquay, George Luke, Diana Mogensen-Reynolds, Eric Aarons (some photocopied), Barrie and Jenny Hadlow (photocopied), 1960-89
44 Letters from Jim Wigley, c. 1961-78, together with clippings about, and printed examples of, his work
45 Letters from Barrie and Jenny Hadlow, 1961-84 and to Jenny and Peter Pinson, 1969-86 (mostly photocopied)
46 Letters from Eric Aarons, 1964-79
47 Correspondence with Pat Graham, Zélie McLeod, Jenny and Peter Pinson, Alan Marshall, Bernard Smith, 1964-86
48 Letters from Bob Smith, 1966-89
49 Correspondence with Maggie and Clarke Andreae, Golda and Keva Bronson, 1971-90
50 Letters to Bob Smith (photocopied), 1975-85
51 Letters to Alan McCulloch, Manning Clark, David Carter, together with gallery directors and owners, 1981-90

Series 2 Business correspondence and papers, 1940s-1987

Chiefly comprising financial records and correspondence with galleries and dealers, this series also contains a detailed listing of sales of Counihan’s artworks in the period 1959 to 1984. Separate files of correspondence record Counihan’s involvement in Council of Adult Education classes, which he tutored in the early 1960s, and refer to the entry he prepared on footballer Roy Cazaly for the Australian dictionary of biography. Other folders document liaison with the Painters and Sculptors Association of Australia, and contact with producers of the film ‘Painting the Town’, a documentary about social-realist artists of the 1930s and 1940s.

Other correspondence with gallery directors and owners is interfiled in Series 1.

1 Taxation matters, 1940s-1950s
2 Liaison with dealers and taxation matters, 1961-69
3 Liaison with galleries and dealers, 1971-79
4 Sales and accounts, 1959-84
5 Miscellaneous business notes and papers, c.1960-83
6 Notes and correspondence concerning Council of Adult Education classes, 1962-65
7 Notes and correspondence relating to Counihan’s entry on Roy Cazaly for the Australian dictionary of biography, c. 1975-76
8 Correspondence with Kurt Barry, Don Connes, Kathleen Shelton, Painters and Sculptors Association of Australia, David Rankin, 1979-84
9 Correspondence and papers concerning community arts activities,
  including liaison with Community Media Association, South Australia regarding a visual arts project, c. 1984-87
10 Correspondence and papers relating to ‘Painting the Town’, a film documenting social-realist painters of the 1930s and 1940s, 1985-87
11 Undated business correspondence and catalogues, c. 1960s-1980s

Series 3 Family correspondence and papers, 1956-1986

This series mainly comprises correspondence written from home and overseas by Noel and Pat Counihan to their children Terry and Mick, from the early 1970s, when their sons were aged in their early twenties, to 1986. Another folder contains letters sent by Noel to his wife in Melbourne during his visit to Europe in 1956. Also filed here are a number of copied birth, marriage and death certificates relating to Counihan, his mother, father and brother, and an article about Counihan’s father published in the Weekly Times in 1918.

1 Photocopied family birth and death certificates, together with Weekly Times article about Counihan’s father, J.H. Counihan
2 Letters from Noel to Pat Counihan, 1956
3 Letters to Terry and Mick Counihan from Noel and Pat Counihan, 1969; letter from Noel to Pat Counihan, 1960
4 Letters from Noel and Pat Counihan to their children, 1973-75
5 Letters from Noel and Pat Counihan to their children, 1976-78, 1980-86

Series 4 Diaries, 1949-1975

A series of pocket appointment diaries kept by Counihan in the period 1949-75, which contain brief entries written in his own hand. Also of interest is a diary/notebook used by Counihan during his visit to Poland in 1949, which contains more detailed notes on galleries visited, observations on other artists and their work, as well as some pen sketches and names and addresses of Polish contacts.

1 Diary and notebook of Counihan’s visit to Poland, 1949
2 Appointment diaries: 1949-52, 1954-59
3 Appointment diaries: 1960, 1961?, 1962 (two diaries), 1963-66
4 Appointment diaries: 1967 (two diaries), 1968-1974, 1975 (two diaries)

Series 5 Artwork, 1930s-1994

Chiefly published or copied representations of Counihan’s artwork, particularly cartoons and caricatures which were printed in a range of Australian and overseas newspapers and magazines from the 1930s to 1960s. The extent of his subject matter was wide, and in addition to his political themes, Counihan also became well known for his representations of cricketers and footballers.

Also of importance in this series is a list of paintings executed by Counihan between the 1940s and 1970s, together with a summary of value of work left in his estate in 1986. In addition, other folders contain an envelope of unpublished illustrations for comic stories by Alan Marshall, a file of book covers featuring Counihan’s art, illustrations of Australian wineries, calendar prints of his paintings and advertisements for Club razor blades, Vaseline hair cream and Richmond Brewery pilsener.

1 Clippings of caricatures from the Brisbane Telegraph, Sunday Sun, Referee, The Land, Wireless Weekly, Musical News and The Bulletin, 1930s
2 Clippings of cartoons from The Argus camera supplement, 1933-34
3 Cartoon clippings from Table Talk, 1935, 1937-38
4 Cartoon clippings from The Bulletin, 1933-43
5 Clippings of cartoons and illustrations from Australasian Post and The Argus, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1964
6-8 Photocopy file of miscellaneous cartoons, 1933-59
9 Cartoons for Musical News, 1935-38, Sun News Pictorial and The Herald, 1937-39
10 Photocopied caricatures from New Zealand Observer, 1939-41, with index
11 Clippings of cartoons of Victorian football players published in The Sun, 1940s; cartoons of horseracing identities printed in The Beam, 1948, including caricature of Counihan by George Gath
12 60 Counihan cartoons from ‘The Guardian’; caricatures of cricketers, 1940s; illustrations for comic stories by Alan Marshall, 1946-48?
13 Lists of paintings by Counihan, 1940s-1970s, together with summary of value of work left in his estate, 1986; copies and cuttings of illustrations from The Guardian, 1940s
14 Photocopy of 60 Counihan cartoons from ‘The Guardian’, c. 1944-45
15 Printed book cover illustrations, c. 1946-83
16 Album containing clippings of cartoons, published in various papers, including The Daily Mail, Radio Times, Tribune, Australasian Post, 1950s
17 London cartoons, caricatures and illustrations, 1950-52
18 Clippings and photo prints of cartoons from Mountain District Free Press newspaper, 1952-58; caricatures from Australian News-Review, 1952; illustrations for Club razor blades advertisements, 1959; cartoons for C.O.R. Merchandiser News, 1955-56; Vaseline hair cream illustrations, 1955; caricatures for Richmond Brewery pilsener, 1954
19 Illustrations of Australian wineries, 1966
20 Commercial calendars with prints of Counihan’s works, 1976-86, together with copy of Achieving full employment, with cover illustration by Counihan, 1994
21 Shire of Morwell calendar, 1987 with print by Counihan

Series 6 Exhibitions, 1932-1993

This series consists mainly of invitation lists for Counihan exhibitions, held from the 1950s through to 1993. Also of interest are a sequence of lists containing comprehensive details of exhibitions and reviews of Counihan’s works between the years 1932 and 1985. A folder containing more detailed papers regarding Counihan’s London and Russian exhibitions is filed at the end of the series.

Correspondence and other papers relating to the posthumous exhibition of Counihan’s work at the Broken Hill City Art Gallery and the 1991 travelling exhibition ‘Images of Working Life’ are filed in Series 13.

1 Annual lists of exhibitions and reviews, 1932-85
2 Invitation lists for Counihan exhibitions, 1950s-1980s
3 Invitation lists for Counihan exhibitions, 1973-91
4 Invitation lists for Counihan exhibitions, 1974-93
5 Papers relating to overseas exhibitions, including London, 1973-74, USSR, 1960 and print exhibition from USSR

Series 7 Catalogues and reviews, 1932-1994

A comprehensive run of articles, reviews, catalogues and invitations relating to Counihan and his interests, arranged by his wife into a chronological sequence of files. The relationship of each item to Counihan’s career varies: some folders include written pieces by the artist, others his published illustrations, whilst a further body of material comprises reviews of his work.

1-2 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1932-49
3-5 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1949-51
6 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1952
7 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1954-56
8 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1957-58
9 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1959
10 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1960
11 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1961
12 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1962
13 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1963-64
14-16 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1965-67
17-20 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1968-70
21-24 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1971-74
25-28 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1975-77
29-30 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1978-79
31-34 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1980-81
35-38 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1982-83
39-42 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1984-85
43-46 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1986
47-50 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1986-87
51-53 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1988
54-58 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1989
59-60 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1990
61-63 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1991
64-67 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1992
68-71 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1993
72-74 Articles/reviews/catalogues/invitations, 1994

Series 8 Writings by Noel Counihan, 1930s-c. 1990

In addition to his artistic output, from early in his career Counihan was a regular contributor of articles and reviews to a number of Australian and overseas newspapers and journals. As a freelance writer, he submitted numerous pieces on aspects of Australian art, as well as preparing the regular ‘Art affairs’ column for The Guardian, 1962-67 and the Tribune, 1967-68.

This series includes handwritten draft notes and typescript manuscripts of Counihan’s many writings, including rough notes and typed memoirs of his childhood and adolescence. In the early 1960s Counihan began researching and writing a history of Russian art which resulted in a manuscript but was never published. Also featured here are proposals signed by Australian artists in 1941 for an ‘Artists’ Congress’ to oppose fascism.

1 Typescript ‘biography’ (memoirs of the artist’s childhood and adolescence), together with reader’s report by Sue Hosking, 1987
2 Rough notes for memoirs
3 Typescript manuscript of history of Russian art, c. 1961
4-6 Draft notes and typescript manuscripts for history of Russian art
7 Draft notes and papers for history of Russian art
8 Draft and printed articles and reviews, c. 1940s, including signed proposals for an Artists’ Congress to oppose fascism, 1941
9 Draft and published articles, c. 1944-49
10 Draft and printed articles, notes, reviews, c. 1950s
11 Printed and draft notes and correspondence concerning gaoling of Mexican painter David Alfaro Siquerios, 1952-64
12 Notes and articles, 1958-65, including notes on other artists and aesthetics, teaching and politics
13 Draft and printed articles, notes and reviews, 1960-61, including material concerning 1960 exhibitions in Moscow and Leningrad
14 Draft, photocopies and printed articles and reviews, 1960-early 1970s
15 Copies of quotations, c. 1960-64
16 Draft articles and reviews, 1962-63 (some printed)
17 Printed articles from Counihan’s monthly column ‘Art affairs’, published in The Guardian, 1962-67 and Tribune, 1967-68, including some drafts
18 Draft and printed articles, 1964
19 Draft and printed speeches and articles, 1965, including draft pamphlet ‘Changing aspects of the Australian art market’
20 Draft and printed reviews and articles, 1965-66
21 Draft and printed notes, speeches and invitations, c. 1971-79, including notes by Pat Counihan on her husband’s life in the 1930s, c. 1990?
22 Draft and printed articles, notes and reviews, c. 1981-85
23 Speeches by and about Counihan, 1983, together with photocopies of galley proofs, tracings and other papers in relation to his illustrations for The barracker’s bible. Melbourne : McPhee Gribble, 1983

Series 9 Print Council of Australia, 1967-1982

Following a renewed interest in printmaking in Australia, and the appointment of a number of international printmakers to the staff of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the Print Council of Australia was formed in Melbourne in 1966. Counihan became a foundation member of the Council, later serving as President between 1973 and 1978. A major part of the Council’s effort concentrated on the organisation and touring of print exhibitions in Australia and overseas each year.

This series contains a folder of notes and official papers documenting various PCA activities and exhibitions with which Counihan was involved in the period, 1967-82.

1 Agenda, notes and papers concerning Print Council of Australia exhibitions and activities, 1967-82

Series 10 Victorian Printmakers Group, 1979-1983

The Victorian Printmakers Group was formed in 1976 by an interim committee of which Counihan was a member. By the next year the Group achieved its principal aim of establishing a fully equipped print workshop for Melbourne artists. The studio opened initially in premises in Carlton, but the Group disbanded when a subsequent joint venture with the Craft Association of Victoria to develop a central craft centre failed due to factional disputes.

Filed here are a number of notes and other official papers documenting Counihan’s association with the VPG. For papers concerning Counihan’s activities with the Victorian Print Workshop see Series 11.

1 Notes, correspondence, agendas and minutes, 1979-83

Series 11 Victorian Print Workshop Advisory Committee, 1981-1986

In 1981 the former Victorian Printmakers Group successfully reformed as the Victorian Print Workshop, located in the Meat Market Craft Centre in North Melbourne. Counihan was a member of the Workshop’s Advisory Committee until his death, and a folder of papers associated with his official duties is filed here.

For papers relating to the Victorian Printmakers Group see Series 10.

1 Agendas, minutes and correspondence, 1981-86

Series 12 Biographical material, 1930s-1988

A varied grouping of notes, clippings, writings and student theses covering different aspects of and episodes in Counihan’s life, including photocopied pages from ASIO and Australian Federal Police files which were used to monitor his activities.

Amongst other material, the series contains some important notes by Pat Counihan on events on her husband’s life and a description of his personal library in the early 1940s. Also of interest are papers about the self-styled ‘grand tour’ Counihan undertook with Judah Waten of regional Australia in 1935-36. During their travels through Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, Counihan sketched portraits and caricatures of local identities, whilst Waten acted as his manager.

In addition, a folder of notes and newspaper reports document a speech made by Counihan from an iron cage in Sydney Road, Brunswick in May 1933. The artist’s plea for freedom of expression attracted large crowds, as well as numerous police who forced their way into the cage with a battering ram. Counihan was arrested and placed in remand at Pentridge Prison, but the charges against him were later quashed in court.

1 Typescript notes and clippings about Counihan’s speech from an iron cage in 1933, c. 1973
2 Photocopied newspaper extracts concerning ‘grand tour’ of country areas, 1935-36, and associated notes and correspondence, 1991
3 Photocopied pages from ASIO and Australian Federal Police files on Counihan, 1939-54, together with associated correspondence, 1985-88
4 Chronological notes by Pat Counihan on events in her husband’s life, 1941-85
5 Miscellaneous notes, clippings, correspondence, 1944-86, including: list of cartoons drawn by Counihan in the 1930s; liaison with Soviet Embassy regarding Moscow exhibition, 1959; notes by Pat Counihan on books held by Noel Counihan when she met him in 1940
6 Miscellaneous notes and writings, c. 1960s-1980s, including: biographical notes and thoughts on artistic development; the Contemporary Art Society; Marxism and art; Counihan’s studio, c. 1960s-1980s
7 Student essays and theses about, or which mention, Counihan’s work, c. 1960s-1986
8 Correspondence with, and writings by, students, c. 1960s-1988
9 Photocopy of typescript thesis by D.C. McNeill ‘A history of the Contemporary Art Society of Melbourne, 1938-1947’, 1976
10 Bound typescript thesis by Sally Clague ‘Noel Counihan : his politics and his art, 1930-45’, c. 1983
11 Bound typescript thesis by Meralyn Bulle ‘Noel Counihan , artist and humanitarian’, 1987
12 Typescript footnotes from unidentified thesis; typescript thesis by Nikki Kaufman ‘Painters of the dispossessed and oppressed : Yosl Bergner and Noel Counihan’, 1988, with colour photo of Noel and Pat Counihan

Series 13 Posthumous correspondence, exhibitions and papers, 1986-1994

After Counihan’s death in 1986, his wife Pat received numerous letters of condolence which are filed here with a list of correspondents. In subsequent years she continued to maintain contact with many of their former friends and associates, as well as liaising with curators about posthumous exhibitions of Counihan’s work. Also of interest is a folder of correspondence with David Carter relating to research for his thesis ‘A career in writing : Judah Waten and the cultural politics of a literary career’ (1993).

A small amount of additional post-1986 correspondence of Pat Counihan can be found in Series 1 and 2.

1-2 Cards and condolence messages received after Counihan’s 1981 illness and 1986 death, including signed funeral attendance book
3-7 Letters and cards of condolence received after Counihan’s death
8 Letters and cards of condolence received after Counihan’s death, together with a list of correspondents
9 Correspondence with Pat Counihan, 1987
10 Correspondence with Pat Counihan, 1988
11 Correspondence with Pat Counihan, 1989
12 Correspondence with Pat Counihan, 1990
13 Correspondence with Pat Counihan, 1991
14 Correspondence with Pat Counihan, 1992
15 Correspondence with David Carter relating to his research on Judah Waten, 1986-92
16 Correspondence and papers concerning Broken Hill City Art Gallery posthumous exhibition, 1989-91
17 Notes and papers relating to ‘Images of Working Life’ exhibition, c. 1991
18 Notes and papers relating to ‘Images of Working Life’ exhibition, c. 1991, including exhibition catalogue
19 Correspondence and notes concerning proposed Australian Film Commission sponsored documentary about Counihan, 1992

Series 14 Photographs, c. 1930-1991

A small collection of black and white photographs, mostly depicting Counihan and his artworks. In addition to the images filed here, a colour photograph of Noel and Pat Counihan, c. 1985 is located in Series 12.

1 Photographs and prints of Counihan and his work, c. 1930-86, together with photo of Pat Counihan, 1991

Series 15 Publications, 1974-1993

Biographical and other published compendiums of Counihan and his artwork.

1 Dimmack, Max. Noel Counihan. Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Press, 1974.
2 Lindesay, Vane (ed.). Noel Counihan caricatures. Hawthorn, Vic. : Hutchinson, 1985.
3 McKenzie, Janet. Noel Counihan. Kenthurst, NSW : Kangaroo Press, 1986.
4 Smith, Bernard. Noel Counihan : artist and revolutionary. Melbourne : Oxford University Press, 1993.
5 Smith, Robert. Noel Counihan prints, 1931-1981 : a catalogue raisonné. Sydney, NSW : Hale & Iremonger, c. 1981.

Box List

Series Folders Box
1 1-8 1
1 9-16 2
1 17-23 3
1 24-30 4
1 31-37 5
1 38-44 6
1 45-51 7
2 1-8 8
2 9-11 9
3 1-5 9
4 1-4 10
5 1 10
5 2-5 Folio 1
5 6 10
5 7-13 11
5 15 Folio 1
5 15-19 12
5 17 Folio 1
5 20 Folio 1
5 21 Folio 2
5   Folio 1
6 1-5 12
7 1-8 13
7 5 Folio 1
7 9-15 14
7 16-23 15
7 20 Folio 1
7 24-30 16
7 31-37 17
7 38-44 18
7 45-51 19
7 52-58 20
7 59-65 21
7 66-72 22
7 73-74 23
8 1-5 23
8 6-12 24
8 13-20 25
8 21-23 26
9 1 26
10 1 Folio 1
11 1 26
12 1-3 26
12 4-11 27
12 12 28
13 1-7 28
13 8-16 29
13 17-19 30
14 1 30
15 1-5 30