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Papers of Sir Hans Heysen, circa 1880-1973 (bulk 1899-1968) [manuscript]
Bib ID 2615641
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Heysen, Hans, Sir, 1877-1968
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [ca. 1880-1973] 
8.30 m. (55 boxes) + 1 fol. packet. 

MS 5073 consists principally of family correspondence, but includes other correspondence, documents, photographs, notebooks, exhibition notices, financial correspondence, minutes and agenda, and printed material. The correspondents include Lionel Lindsay, Elioth Gruner, Dame Nellie Melba, Sydney Ure Smith, Will Ashton, Sava Botzaris, Sir Edric Bastyan, Lloyd Rees, George Holman, Harold Cazneaux, W. Blamire Young, and John Brackenreg. There are also many letters from numerous galleries, particularly the National Gallery of South Australia (55 boxes, 1 fol. packet).


Artist. Wilhelm Ernst Hans Franz Heysen was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1877 and migrated to South Australia with his family in 1884. He left school in 1892. Developing an interest in art and drawing, Heysen studied under James Ashton and at the School of Design under Harry P. Gill. In 1899, a number of Heysen's works were submitted to the Royal Drawing Society of Great Britain and Ireland and he was awarded the first prize and a gold medal for the outstanding work of the year. He travelled to Europe where he studied in Paris, painted in Holland, Scotland and Germany and lived in Italy. On his return to Adelaide in 1903, Heysen opened a studio and art school. The following year he won the Wynne prize for his work "Mystic morn".

In 1908, he held a one-man exhibition in Melbourne, which was opened by the Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin. Other successful exhibitions followed. In 1912, he purchased "The Cedars", a property on the outskirts of Hahndorf, where he remained for the rest of his life. His work gained in popularity and over his long career sales from his exhibitions and private commissions allowed him to support his family. Heysen is best known for his landscapes of the Australian bush dominated by gum trees, however, he also painted pastoral scenes, seascapes, still life studies and portraits. He won the Wynne prize nine times between 1904 and 1932, among other prizes, and was knighted in 1959 for his service to art. Heysen died at Mount Barker, South Australia, in 1968.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 5073.

Selected item(s) available online

Related Material Portrait of Hans Heysen; Located at; National Library of Australia Pictures collection PIC R10431 LOC 7622.  Hans Heysen interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 1/27. 
Cited In

Guide to collections of manuscript relating to Australia, C1181.

Reproduction In part, photocopies. [S.l.]. 
Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available in the Special Collections Reading Room and online. 
Subjects Heysen, Hans, Sir, 1877-1968 -- Archives.  |  Heysen, Hans, Sir, 1877-1968 -- Correspondence.  |  Painters -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Painters -- Australia -- Correspondence.  |  Landscape painting, Australian -- South Australia.  |  Landscape painting -- 20th century.  |  Watercolor painting -- Australia.  |  South Australia in art.
Time Coverage 1880-1973 
Occupation Artists.  |  Painters.
Other authors/contributors National Gallery of South Australia
Exhibited Exhibited: "Treasures Gallery", National Library of Australia, 7 October 2011 - 15 December 2012. 

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