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Collection

An image of Australian legend, number 2: The terrible story by Margaret Preston

Margaret Preston

(Australia, England, France 29 Apr 1875 – 28 May 1963)

Title
Australian legend, number 2: The terrible story
Other titles:
The terrible story
Year
(circa 1957)
Media category
Print
Materials used
colour woodcut on tan laid Japanese paper
Edition
Unknown edition
Dimensions

29.4 x 29.0 cm blockmark; 36.3 x 32.5 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed in block to print l.l., incised "MP". Signed l.r. beneath blockmark, pencil "Margaret Preston". Not dated.
Credit
Gift of W.G. Preston, the artist's widower 1967
Accession number
DA61.1967
Copyright
© Margaret Rose Preston Estate
Location
Not on display
Further information

"In wishing to rid myself of the mannerisms of a country other than my own I have gone to the art of a people who had never seen or known anything different from themselves ... These are the Australian aboriginals [sic] and it is only from the art of such people in any land that a national art can spring."
- Margaret Preston 1925

Margaret Preston's appreciation and understanding of Aboriginal art and culture grew in sophistication from the time she made her first pronouncements on the subject in the 1920s. During her life she made several visits to Central and Northern Australia, and visited rock art sites in and around Sydney, where she lived. The Australian legend series was made towards the end of her career and integrates colours and compositions derived from Aboriginal paintings, as well as motifs from rock art. For example, the large human footprints in each of these prints were taken from rock carvings in the Sydney area which Preston had seen on excursions with the Anthropological Society of New South Wales.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

Bibliography (4)

Elizabeth Butel, Margaret Preston: the art of constant rearrangement, Ringwood, 1985, 58 (colour illus.), 93. cat.no. P.76; titled 'The terrible story'

Roger Arthur Butler, The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné, Canberra, 2005, 327 (colour illus.). cat.no. 402

Roger Arthur Butler, The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné, Canberra, 1987, 294 (colour illus.). cat.no. 402

Nicholas Thomas, Possessions: indigenous art / colonial culture, 'Hierarchies: from traditional to contemporary', pg. 196-223, London, 1999, 212 (illus.), 297. illus.no. 127

Exhibition history (3)

Acquisitions 1967, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Mar 1968–01 Apr 1968

Margaret Preston: the art of constant rearrangement, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Dec 1985–09 Feb 1986

Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000