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Papers of Juan Davila, 1972-2007 [manuscript]
Bib ID 1495711
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Davila, Juan, 1946-
Related Online
Access Conditions Part available for research; part requires permission for research; part not available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1972-2007] 
approximately 19.20 m. (71 boxes) + 8 fol. boxes + 8 Postpak boxes + 2 other containers + 1 packet + 1 map folio. 

MS 9578 comprises correspondence, diaries, financial records, newspaper cuttings and cutting books. Approximately one third of the collection is in Spanish. Documenting as they do Davila's dealings with galleries, curators, art dealers, the media and government bodies, the papers provide an insight into the Australian art scene from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. They also provide an understanding of the difficulties encountered by artists in making a living from and practising their art. Issues such as the funding of art, copyright of artworks, public opinion about art and censorship are also raised in these papers. The correspondence is extensive and provides a comprehensive record of Davila's career and his philosophies about art. Although mostly business related, some of the correspondence does include personal messages.

Correspondents include Peter Bellas, Ian Britain, Eugenio Dittborn, Paul Foss, Paul Greenway, Tim Guider, Francesca Lombardo, Patricio Marchant, Jan Minchin (Tolarno Gallery), Georges Mora (Tolarno), Bernice Murphy, Roslyn Oxley, Leon Paroissien, Gary Sangster, Paul Taylor, Nelly Richard, William Walters and Jonathon Watkins (Chisenhale Gallery, London) (35 boxes, 4 fol. boxes, 1 map folio).

The Acc07.078 instalment comprises a copy of the book Juan Davila, by Guy Brett and Roger Benjamin, with writings by Juan Davila (Melbourne University Press, 2006) (1 fol. box).

The Acc07.081 instalment comprises correspondence, diaries, taxation and copyright papers and family photographs (36 boxes, 2 fol. boxes, 8 Postpak boxes, 2 other containers).

The Acc07.107 instalment comprises five scrapbooks containing news clippings and one bundle of news clippings relating to Davila's work (1 fol. box).

The Acc08.007 instalment comprises a listing of the contents of Davila's personal library, prepared by Dr John Thompson. The library itself was presented to the Australian National University Library (1 packet).


Artist. Juan Davila was born in Santiago, Chile in 1946. From 1951 to 1963 Davila attended school at the Colegio Verbo Divino. From 1969 to 1972 he attended the University of Chile, studying firstly at the Law School and then at the Fine Arts School. Davila moved to Australia to live in 1974. Davila is an artist of both national and international standing. He produces controversial and often confronting art works, which combine elements of pop art, comic strip art, graffiti, pornography and transvestism to convey his ideas about a variety of issues including sexuality, politics, the art world and current affairs. He has exhibited widely in Australia and overseas. Davila lives in Melbourne, but spends part of each year in Chile.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 9578, MS Acc07.078, MS Acc07.081, MS Acc07.107, MS Acc08.007.

Source of Acquisition Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Juan Davila (MS 9578, Acc07.081, Acc07.107). 
Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid (10 p.) available in the Special Collections Reading Room. 
Subjects Davila, Juan, 1946- -- Archives.  |  Chileans -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Artists -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Painting, Australian -- 20th century.  |  Painting, Modern -- 20th century.  |  Painting, Chilean -- Australia.
Time Coverage 1972-2007 
Occupation Artists.
Other authors/contributors Thompson, John (John Robert), 1947-
Also Titled

Juan Davila.

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