Eileen Chanin and Steven Miller

Ian Maclean Award 2006

Topic: Recovering the neglected archival records of Australia’s art schools, so that researchers can piece together more of Australia's art history
Eileen Chanin and Steven Miller presented their findings at a public lecture at the National Archives in Canberra on 21 June 2007.

Biographical note

Eileen Chanin is a curator and director of Macquarie Galleries. Steven Miller is an archivist with the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Outcome

Eileen Chanin and Steven Miller's groundbreaking project was to recover the neglected archival records of Australia’s art schools, so that researchers can piece together more of Australia's art history.

Early art training in Australia was conducted on a studio basis by individual artists, with some lessons run in mechanics institutes. The Artisan’s School of Design, founded in Melbourne in 1867, was the first public art school. Amongst the pupils and teachers were Louis Buvelot, Frederick McCubbin and Tom Roberts. Melbourne’s National Gallery School was founded three years later in 1870. These and subsequent art schools not only trained painters and sculptors, but were also places where actors, designers, writers, teachers, architects and artists intermingled during their formative years.

Chanin and Miller's project aimed to identify and locate valuable records of art schools around Australia and where and how they can be accessed. After the conclusion of their Ian Maclean Award they continue to order and store their research on a database, which will in time be made publicly accessible through the web. You can read more about their work in our Memento magazine (Number 33 – Winter 2007).

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017