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Original drawings and paintings by the artists of The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia are on show at the National Library in A Nation Imagined: The Artists of the Picturesque Atlas from Friday 12 March to Sunday 11 July 2021.
Published in supplements between 1886 and 1889, the Atlas set out to document through illustrations, maps and text a settler-colonial view of Australia's history, landscape and ways of life, and did so with the aid of over 800 remarkable steel- and wood-engraved illustrations. It was also a catalyst for the art movement that followed, now known as Australian impressionism.
The exhibition showcases the art of three of the Atlas's principal artists – Julian Ashton, A. Henry Fullwood and Frank Mahony – with more than 180 prints, engravings, paintings, drawings, and the tools they used to create them, on show. The works of other Atlas contributors including William Macleod, Ellis Rowan, Constance Roth and Americans William Smedley and Frederic B. Schell, are also featured.
A Nation Imagined: The Artists of the Picturesque Atlas is presented in partnership with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and has been co-curated by Natalie Wilson, Curator of Australian and Pacific Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Dr Gary Werskey, a guest co-curator of the exhibition, Honorary Associate in the Department of History at the University of Sydney and author of Picturing a Nation: The Art and Life of A.H. Fullwood.
Join the conversation with #ANationImagined
A Conversation with the Curators
Join exhibition curators Natalie Wilson and Dr Gary Werskey for a curator talk in the Exhibition Gallery.
Attend the Exhibition
The National Library's exhibition galleries are open daily from 9am to 5pm AEDT. The exhibition is free and on until Sunday 11 July 2021. No bookings are required.
Join a guided tour of the exhibition every Tuesday and Sunday at 10:30am. These tours depart from the Main Foyer. Bookings for tours are essential.