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Blooms and Brushstrokes : Floral History of Australian Art - Penelope Curtin

Blooms and Brushstrokes

Floral History of Australian Art

By: Penelope Curtin, Tansy Curtin

Hardcover | 1 August 2022 | Edition Number 1

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Blooms and Brushstrokes takes you on a unique journey through the history of Australian art, one flower at a time, examining the blooms depicted in still lifes, floral portraits, decorative interiors and botanical illustrations by a long line of Australian artists. Mother-and-daughter team Penelope and Tansy Curtin start this fascinating journey in the late eighteenth century, when the traditions adhering to the Western art canon were transplanted into the newly colonised Australia. They follow it through the rapidly developing artistic styles of the early twentieth century, to the new media of the contemporary period.

These works of art also shine a light on the role and importance of plants and flowers in everyday life. They illustrate changing floral fashions, as well as highlighting flowers in their various forms - cut flowers, pot plants and gardens. And along the way you'll encounter many of Australia's most significant artists, including John Glover, Arthur Streeton, Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington Smith, John Brack and Margaret Olley, as well as some of Australia's most beautiful, and sometimes intriguing, native flora, such as the waratah and Sturt's desert pea, not to mention perennial garden favourites like roses, sweet peas and daisies.

Spectacular, intimate, engaging and meticulously researched - and full of interesting and quirky facts about the flowers and the artists themselves, Blooms and Brushstrokes is a book for art, flower and history lovers alike.

About the Authors

Penelope Curtin is a freelance editor who works mainly in the area of art publications. Her great loves in life have been the gardens she has established and Edwin, Alice, Rupert and Rosey, some of whom are grandchildren, the others Italian Greyhounds.

Tansy Curtin is the Curatorial Manager at Bendigo Art Gallery. She holds a Masters in Art History from the University of Adelaide. Tansy inherited the gardening gene from her mother, although she also loves growing edible plants.
Industry Reviews
'Blooms and Brushstrokes is a magnificent celebration of the rich tradition of floral art in Australia.'
Simon Caterson, Weekend Australian

'Brilliant, because it works for those who do not know their flowers but enormously well for those who do, because they recognise how their knowledge ends up in art. For these reasons the importance of the book is hard to overstate.'
Robert Nelson, art critic, Age

'An attractive, vibrant addition to any coffee table ... Blooms and Brushstrokes will please gardeners, historians, and art lovers alike.'
Weekly Times

'Both authors convey a sense of enthusiasm and excitement for their subject as they consult with botanists and art historians in their quest for further flowers painted by Australian artists.'
Sasha Grishin, Canberra Times

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