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Papers of Fred Williams
Official roles and responsibilities, including the Australian National Gallery

Summary | Administrative Information | Biographical Note | Associated Content | Box//Binder Description
Fred Williams Forest 1960–61
oil on composition board
National gallery of Australia Purchased 2006
© estate of Fred Williams
more detail

 

Summary

 

Creator: Fred Williams 1927-1982
Title: Papers of Fred Williams: official roles and responsibilities, including the Australian National Gallery
Date Range: 1971-1982
Reference Number: MS 50
Extent: 14 boxes + 6 ring binders

Overview

This collection of papers documents the artist Fred Williams' participation in various administrative roles and art organisations. The collection demonstrates Fred Williams' influential role as a founding Council member of the Australian National Gallery who helped develop the national collection and who took an active role in supporting Australian art and artists.

The public offices and responsibilities held by Fred Williams that are represented in this collection include:

  1. The Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, where he was appointed a member in 1972. This was later replaced with the Acquisitions Committee for the Australian National Gallery;
  2. The Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council, where he was a member from 1973 until 1976;
  3. The Council of the Australian National Gallery, where he was appointed a trustee in 1976 after serving on the Second Interim Council from 1974.

The material in this collection includes minutes from meetings, financial records, curatorial and acquisition reports, exhibition notes, various lists, grant applications, budgetary details, proposals, photographic reproductions of works of art, press clippings and correspondence with the Australian National Gallery, the Gallery directors and artists including James Gleeson. 

Other organisations mentioned include;

Original order has been maintained where possible.

 

Administrative Information

 

Access
Some restrictions apply. Contact the National Gallery of Australia Research Library reference service. Phone +61 2 6240 6530
Email rlr@nga.gov.au

Provenance
Possible gift accompanying an art acquisition from James Mollison.

Preferred Citation Note
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], National Gallery of Australia Research Library Archives, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

 

Biographical Note

 

In 1971 the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board took responsibility for the National Collection under James Mollison, Acting Director of the Australian National Gallery. Under Gough Whitlam the Board was replaced with the Acquisitions Committee of the Australian National Gallery and in 1972 this consisted of James Gleeson (Chairman), and Messrs Leonard French, Clifford Last, James Mollison and Fred Williams.
Fred Williams was not on the first Interim Council of the Australian National Gallery as he had to wait for a vacancy, which occurred in August 1974 when he became a member of the Second Interim Council of the Australian National Gallery. He was appointed a trustee of the permanent Council of the Australian National Gallery in 1976.

The Visual Arts Board began as the Australian Council for the Arts in 1968, which expanded to incorporate other Commonwealth functions. Fred Williams was on this board from 1973 to 1976 and saw the Board become a statutory authority under the Australia Council Act in 1975. Amendments to the Act in 1976 gave the Council the authority to be the government's advisory agency in the arts.
The Visual Arts Board is one of seven boards that comprise the Australia Council along with the Aboriginal Arts Board, Community Arts Board, Crafts Board, Literature Board, Music Board, and the Theatre Board.

 

Associated Content

 

Subject
Fred Williams; Art Administration; Art Acquisition; Building the National Gallery of Australia's Collection; Visual Arts Board; Council of the Australian National Gallery.
Relationship to the National Gallery of Australia Research Library
There are links between this collection and other archives held in the Research Library. These include the Papers of the Australian Gallery Directors Council, Print Council of Australia, Gallery A, James Mollison, Marion Kaselle (Max Hutchinson Galleries) and the James Gleeson interviews.
Relationship to the National Gallery of Australia Collection
During the period of time Fred Williams served on the ANG Council several major works of art were acquired for the collection including Jackson Pollack's Blue poles 1952 and the Gemini Print archive that later formed the Kenneth Tyler Printmaking Collection.
The works of art by Fred Williams that are held in the National Collection of the National Gallery of Australia are extensive. These include prints (etchings) undertaken with John Brack, drawings, oil paintings, watercolours, dyelines, linocuts and pages from the China Diary sketchbook.

 

Box Description

 

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Box 5

Box 6

Box 7

Box 8

Box 9

Box 10

Box 11

Box 12

Box 13

Ring Binder 1

Ring Binder 2

Ring Binder 3

Ring Binder 4

Ring Binder 5

Ring Binder 6