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Papers of James Gleeson, circa 1930-2008 (bulk 1947-1987) [manuscript]
Bib ID 2913071
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Author
Gleeson, James, 1915-2008
 
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Access Conditions Part available for research; part requires permission for research; part not available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [ca. 1930-2008] 
26.09 m. (125 boxes) + 11 folio boxes + 1 map folio. 
Summary

The papers in MS 7440 are arranged into 13 series: 1. Correspondence: family, 1956-1971: letters from mother, sister and niece; general, 1949-1984: letters from other artists and writers. Some of the correspondents are Edward and Honor Smith, Errol Peisby, Tom and Else Gleghorn, Lloyd Rees, Patrick White, Pam Bell and Desiderius Orban and Alister Kershaw. 2. Diaries and notebooks, 1948, 1958-1987. Diaries kept during Gleeson's travels. Notebooks that contain drafts of his writings. 3. Manuscripts: drafts, typescripts and working notes of writings, including Master pieces of Australian paintings (1969), William Dobell (1964) and Robert Klippel (1983). 4. Australian National Gallery, 1973-1982: reports, financial statements, some correspondence and minutes of meetings. 5. William Dobell Art Foundation, 1975-1979: correspondence, reports, photographs and minutes of meetings. 6. Visual Art Board, 1974-1976: minutes of meetings, grant applications and reports. 7. Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, 1972-1973: minutes, financial papers, reports and some correspondence. 8. A bound volume of original artworks and collages created by James Gleeson in 2000 when his life-long partner, Frank O'Keefe, was seriously ill in hospital. Gleeson presented the volume to O'Keefe on his recovery (47 boxes, 3 fol. boxes).

The Acc09.018 instalment consists of papers accumulated by Gleeson during the course of his long life and career. Over half of this instalment comprises photographic material, which includes images of Gleeson's works in a variety of mediums, photographs from his numerous trips overseas and a small group of family photographs. The remainder of the instalment comprises correspondence; diaries; papers relating to Gleeson's involvement with the Dobell Foundation; cuttings from newspapers and magazines; and a small group of invoices and receipts. There are a number of notebooks and binders containing Gleeson's notes for books, articles and lectures (62 boxes, 1 fol. box).

The Acc09.201 instalment largely comprises photographic material of images of Gleeson's works in a variety of mediums. In addition, there are travel photographs and a small group of photographs of the O'Keefe family. The remainder of the instalment consists of correspondence, a folder of collage cutouts and Gleeson's palette (16 boxes, 7 fol. boxes, 1 map folio).

Biography/History

Artist, writer and art critic. James Timothy Gleeson was Australia's foremost surrealist artist despite taking up painting full time only at age 68. Gleeson was born at Hornsby, New South Wales, and studied at East Sydney Technical College in the 1930s, where he was inspired by surrealist artists including Dali, Ernst and Magritte. Gleeson qualified as a teacher and spent some years in that profession prior to becoming an art critic for The Sun and The Sun-herald. In 1965, he published a book on Australian artist William Dobell, and continued to produce publications on Australian art until the 1990s.

Gleeson's other roles in the arts field included periods as an arts administrator, including positions on the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board and the Board of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). During the 1970s he conducted interviews with artists for a major oral history project for the NGA. Gleeson's artworks are represented in all major galleries in Australia, as well as in many regional and private collections in Australia and overseas. Gleeson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1975, and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1990 for service to art.

Notes

Manuscript reference no.: MS 7440, MS Acc09.018, MS Acc09.201.

Related Material James Gleeson interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 1/14.  James Gleeson and Frank O'Keefe interviewed by Nancy Underhill; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 2114. 
Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available in the Special Collections Reading Room and on the Internet at: http://www.nla.gov.au/ms/findaids/7440.html 
Subjects Gleeson, James, 1915-2008 -- Archives.  |  Rees, Lloyd, 1895-1988 -- Correspondence.  |  Orban, Desiderius, 1884-1986 -- Correspondence.  |  White, Patrick, 1912-1990 -- Correspondence.  |  Klippel, Robert, 1920-2001.  |  Dobell, William, Sir, 1899-1970.  |  Commonwealth Art Advisory Board (Australia) -- Archives.  |  Sir William Dobell Art Foundation -- Archives.  |  Australian National Gallery -- Archives.  |  Artists -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Authors, Australian -- 20th century -- Archives.  |  Art critics -- Australia -- Archives.
Time Coverage 1930-2008 
Occupation Artists.  |  Authors.  |  Art critics.  |  Oral history interviewers.
Terms of Use Copying of James Gleeson's copyright material permitted for research purposes, except for photographs of Frank O'Keefe (MS Acc09.018, Boxes 29, 32, and MS Acc09.201, Box 12) for which copying permission is required until 2020. 

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    Details Collect From
    MS 7440 Special Collections Reading Room
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    MS Acc09.018 Special Collections Reading Room - Prior notice required
    Unprocessed instalment
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    MS Acc09.201 Special Collections Reading Room - Prior notice required
    Unprocessed instalment
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