Contemporising the Modern – Photography from the Russell Mills Collection, features over 50 Iconic Australian photographs from some of Australia’s best-known artists, including iconic works by Max Dupain and Olive Cotton through to Contemporary work by Bill Henson and Narelle Autio.
Contemporising the Modern is a touring exhibition from the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) and tours with funding from the Russell Mills Foundation, a foundation set up by the late Russell Mills to encourage the arts and social justice in Australia. Russell Mills began collecting photography in the 1990s. Over an 18-year period, he collected major images by recognised Australian photographers, including Robert McFarlane’s Bea nude (1978), Kerry Dundas’s Harborside Life (1952), Roger Scott’s Queenscliff, Sydney (1975), and Wolfgang Sievers’ The Gears for the Mining Industry (1967).
Mills was initially drawn to the work of Australian photographer Olive Cotton, who achieved long-overdue recognition for her photography during the mid-1980s. Mills was captivated by Cotton’s imagery and acquired four works, making her the most represented photographer in his collection. The works included icons such as Teacup ballet (c.1935), Only to taste the warmth, the light, the wind (c.1939), Glasses(1937) and Fire escape (1935/1995).
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