Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Lord Mayors, British royalty, town clerks, Moomba monarchs, everyday Melburnians and an office worker called Bob; a new exhibition at City Gallery explores the official - and not so official - portraits from the City of Melbourne’s Art and Heritage Collection.
Curated by Melbourne-based artist and writer Phip Murray, the Good Looking exhibition highlights the social, cultural and political changes that have taken place in Melbourne from the 1850s to now.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said some of Melbourne’s great stories are told through the portraits in the new exhibition.
"Official portraits have been used historically to commemorate the invaluable contribution people have made to our great city. City of Melbourne has an extraordinary collection of portraits and we are delighted to host this exhibition and display these works for Melburnians and tourists to enjoy," the Lord Mayor said.
Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Arts and Culture Portfolio Councillor Rohan Leppert said the City of Melbourne’s art and heritage collection dates back to the early years of the township of Melbourne.
"These portraits emphasise the colourful and eclectic history that makes Melbourne such an interesting and culturally rich city," Cr Leppert said.
"Good Looking gives us a closer look at some of the wonderful portraits in the City of Melbourne’s collection including everything from stately official portraits, to glitzy Moomba princesses to council office workers," said curator Phip Murray. "Faces – from those that could launch a thousand ships to those that only a mother could love – are of enduring interest."
Works in Good Looking include an atmospheric photograph of Robert O’Hara Burke (possibly the last taken before he set off with Wills on their ill-fated expedition across Australia); and Vivienne Shark LeWitt’s amusing portrait of office worker Bob.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle will officially open Good Looking at City Gallery, Melbourne Town Hall, at 6pm on February 13, 2013.