The award of the Archibald Prize to William Dobell for his “modernist” portrait of Joshua Smith in late 1944 provoked “the biggest legal smash hit since Ned Kelly”. The controversy convulsed Sydney’s art world, society and politics, knocked the Pacific War off front pages of newspapers, attracted international attention and saw a crush of viewers pack the normally serene halls of the Art Gallery of NSW. Leading the uproar and subsequent bitter legal battle was Mary Edwards, the painter who with Garfield Barwick as counsel prosecuted the case against Dobell and the gallery trustees all the way to the High Court. This book is the first dedicated study of the controversy and landmark court case that proceeded from the award of the prize to William Dobell in 1944.
|Place of Publication||Sydney|
|Number of pages||232|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|