The International Print collection at the National Gallery of Australia has a special, historic connection to Robert Hughes. In 1973 – almost a decade before the Gallery opened its doors to the public – Hughes alerted then director James Mollison to the fact that master-printer Kenneth Tyler was looking to sell his collection of printers’ proofs. Tyler, who set up the Gemini GEL workshop in Los Angeles, had decided to move to the east coast and was looking for a buyer to help fund a new workshop there. Hughes was aware that the National Gallery in Canberra was committed to building a world class collection of international works, and that Tyler wanted to see his works kept together – preferably in a public museum. The National Gallery was a perfect fit.
Details of this important acquisition, which laid the foundations for the Kenneth Tyler printmaking collection, are recounted on our website by Senior Curator Jane Kinsman, who interviewed Hughes about the acquisition in 2002: http://nga.gov.au/InternationalPrints/Tyler/Default.cfm?MnuID=5
Hughes’ death will be felt throughout the international art world, and particularly here in his native Australia.