Frederick McCubbin—Whisperings in wattle boughs
In the Gallery’s 125th anniversary year, this exhibition celebrates the first major work to enter the collection in 1900: Frederick McCubbin’s A bush burial (1890). Made possible through public subscription, this exceptional acquisition and moment in the institution’s history is marked by bringing A bush burial into dialogue with a tightly focussed selection of other iconic McCubbin works in which he elaborates and redefines the Australian bush and the human subjects within it.
Frederick McCubbin—Whisperings in wattle boughs brings together McCubbin’s key ‘pioneer’ subjects and additional paintings that elaborate the artist’s unending fascination with the colour and nature of the bush, sourced from national and state institutions, regional Victorian galleries and private collections. This in-focus exhibition will also include portraits by McCubbin of some of the subjects—often family and friends—that populate his enduring great narrative pictures.
The exhibition title acknowledges the inspiration McCubbin took from the poetry of Adam Lindsay Gordon, the unique beauty of the Australian bush and the rich stories that emerge from it.