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Speakers, teachers and presenters

Meet some of the speakers, teachers and presenters who work with the Art Gallery Society of NSW to bring you a range of members events.

  • Dr Christopher Allen

    Christopher Allen is the art critic for The Australian. An historian who graduated from the University of Sydney, he has worked at the Collège de France in Paris and currently lectures at the National Art School in Sydney. He is the author of several books, including his most recent Jeffrey Smart: unpublished paintings 1940-2007. Christopher speaks French and Italian and has travelled extensively throughout Europe for several decades, especially France and Italy.

  • Rosamund Bartlett

    Rosamund Bartlett is a scholar, translator and biographer specialising in Russian literature. Among her notable works are Tolstoy: a Russian life and Chekhov: scenes from a life as well as translations of both authors’ works.

  • Jonathan Biggins

    Jonathan Biggins is an actor, writer and director, perhaps best known as one of the creators of The Wharf Revue. He has acted for all the state theatre and opera companies in Australia. His recent credits include Travesties and Orpheus in the underworld, and he won a Helpmann Award for his direction of the musical Avenue Q. A regular contributor to the Good Weekend magazine and former host of ABC TV’s arts program Critical mass, Jonathan debuted his first play, Australia Day, for the Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company in 2012.

  • Chris Carter

    Chris Carter has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the Australian National University where he is currently undertaking a doctorate. He has worked full time as an archaeologist since 1996, dividing his time between teaching, commercial archaeology and research in northern Chile. Since 1998, he has been involved with the design and implementation of study tours, having led over 40 during that time. Destinations include Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize but Chris has also worked in Spain, Morocco, Ireland, Turkey, Vietnam and Cambodia.

  • Dr Julian Droogan

    Julian Droogan is a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University where he teaches in Asia-Pacific studies, issues of religion and politics and international studies. He has written books and papers on archaeology, Asian history and culture as well as the role of religion in modern politics and international relations. Julian’s tours for the Gallery combine a focus on the art and archaeology of a region with a love of its religious, artistic and architectural heritage, while also paying attention to the dynamic forces at play in the modern world.

  • Damien Freeman

    Damien Freeman lectures on ethics and aesthetics at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He is a writer, lawyer and philosopher, who was educated at the University of Sydney and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He has discussed ethics, aesthetics and politics on ABC Radio National and has written and edited numerous books and articles on art, aesthetics, biography and law, including Art’s emotions, Roddy’s folly, Mao’s toe, and the literary memoir The aunt’s mirrors. He is editing a collection of essays entitled, Figuring out figurative art: contemporary philosophers on contemporary paintings with Derek Matravers and is writing a book based on his 2013 Art Gallery Society of NSW lecture series, Morality at the Gallery.

  • Susannah Fullerton

    Susannah Fullerton is the president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, the largest literary society in the country. She is a patron of the Kipling Society of Australia, as well as the author of Brief encounters: literary travellers in Australia, Jane Austen and crime, Jane Austen: Antipodean views. Susannah’s literary lectures are among the Gallery’s most popular.

  • Liz Gibson

    A former senior coordinator of Public Programs at the Art Gallery of NSW, Liz Gibson lectures on broad-ranging aspects of art history and art appreciation. She has led many Gallery tours to Russia and Germany, as well as the Baltic States, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. Since her first tour to Russia, Liz has immersed herself in Eastern Europe and is currently exploring the cultures of Central Asia and their complex relationship with Russia, as part of both the Russian Empire and the USSR.

  • Dr Christopher Hartney

    Christopher Hartney is a lecturer at the University of Sydney where he studies modern myth and new religions, particularly those of East Asia and with a notable mania for Vietnam. He has a doctorate on, and has published extensively about, the origins and development of Caodaism, Vietnam’s largest indigenous religion. Chris has additional qualifications in performance studies and Latin, and is presently studying for a Masters in Education at UTS. He is president of the Sydney Society for Literature and Aesthetics and Australian national delegate to the International Association of Aesthetics, and he co-edits both the Journal for Religious History and the Journal for Literature and Aesthetics. He has published over 30 scholarly articles, edited numerous books, and written an award-winning high school text book for studies of religion.

  • Dr Peter Kohane

    Peter Kohane teaches architectural history and design in the Program of Architecture at the University of New South Wales. His area of expertise is 19th- and 20th-century architecture in Europe, Australia and America. His work has appeared in numerous books and journals, including Architectural Research Quarterly, Architecture+Urbanism, Architectural Theory Review, Fabrications and Transition.

  • Lorraine Kypiotis

    Lorraine Kypiotis is a lecturer of art history at the National Art School. She has a Masters in Arts from the University of Sydney and is currently researching the Nationals Art School’s plaster cast collection with the aim to finally complete her doctorate. She is a long-time guest lecturer at the Art Gallery of NSW.

  • Brian Ladd

    A specialist in European and Australian sculpture, Brian Ladd brings a broad knowledge and enthusiasm to the study of art. From 1996 to 2010, he was head of the Public Programs Department at the Art Gallery of NSW. He lectures for the Art Gallery Society of NSW and, since 1995, has led tours to Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Central Europe and the USA.

  • Dr Chris McAuliffe

    An independent scholar and curator, Chris McAuliffe is currently an honorary fellow in the Australian Centre, School of Culture and Communications in the University of Melbourne. From 2000 to 2013 he was director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the university. He took a Bachelor of Arts Honours and Masters of Art there and a doctorate at Harvard University with a dissertation on postmodern theory and the visual arts. Chris has taught art history and theory at the University of Melbourne and was the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. His publications include Art and suburbia, Linda Marrinon: let her try and Jon Cattapan: possible histories, and he is currently researching the memic afterlife of Jackson Pollock, Peter Blake’s Elvis paintings and a collection of essays on 19th century Australian art. Chris was also a curatorial consultant to the exhibition America: painting a nation at the Art Gallery of NSW.

  • John McDonald

    John McDonald is best known as the art critic for the Sydney Morning Herald. He is a former head of Australian art at the National Gallery of Australia, a busy lecturer and author of several books, most notably Art of Australia: from exploration to Federation, the first in a projected three-volume history of Australian art.

  • Dr Peter McNeil

    Peter McNeil is professor of design history at the University of Technology Sydney and foundation professor of fashion studies at Stockholm University, Sweden. He has published several works on fashion including the bestselling Shoes, also translated into Italian (with Giorgio Riello) and his current book projects include the ‘long’ history of luxury, supported by the UK Leverhulme Trust, fashion writing and criticism from the 17th century to the present day, and fashion journalism. In 2012 he wrapped up his three-year role within the project Fashioning the early modern: innovation and creativity in Europe 1500-1800. He is a regular fashion reviewer and co-curator, currently working with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a major touring exhibition.

  • Joyce Morgan

    A journalist and co-author of Journeys on the Silk Road, Joyce Morgan has written on arts and culture for 20 years. She has worked in London, Hong Kong, East Timor and Sydney, and is a Getty Arts Journalism fellow. A former arts editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, her writing has also appeared in The Australian, The Guardian and Huffington Post. She has lectured on the Silk Road in Australia and the US and has travelled widely in Asia, including in India, Pakistan, China and Bhutan.

  • Peter O'Doherty

    A self-taught painter, Peter O’Doherty has been exhibiting regularly over the past 20 years in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and internationally in England and New Zealand. He has been hung in numerous art prizes including the Sulman and the Salon des Refuses, and has won the Paddington Art Prize for landscape, the Commendation Award at the Mosman Art Prize and the Alan Gamble Memorial Prize for the built environment. Most recently there has been a concentration on urban and suburban themes in his work – fibro and brick houses, blocks of flats, high-rise facades, front yards, porches and garages along side chairs, aeroplanes, trams and landscapes. His representational paintings are tonal assemblages of oblique geometric detail imbued with dense shadow and vivid Australian light. For two decades he was prominent musically as bass player in the band Mental As Anything. Nowadays, he and his brother – painter, musician and illustrator Chris O’Doherty (Reg Mombassa) – perform together as Dog Trumpet.

  • Prof Robert Spillane

    Robert Spillane is a management professor who teaches philosophy. In 2006 he received the Thomas S Szasz Award from the Center for Independent Thought in New York for his contribution to the cause of human liberty. His research interests include history of Western ideas, psychology and its misapplication to management, and ADHD and other mental disorders.

  • Prof Barry Spurr

    Appointed as Australia’s first Professor of Poetry and Poetics in 2011, Barry Spurr is the longest-serving member of the University of Sydney’s English Department (appointed to a lectureship in 1976) and is a fellow of the Australian College of Educators. He is the director of the Bachelor of Arts Advanced Honours degree at the University of Sydney and chair of the board of the Faculty of Arts. Barry is a leading authority on the life and work of TS Eliot and has published numerous books and articles on a range of poets from the Renaissance to the present, as well as a handbook to public speaking and debating and the comprehensive text on poetry and poetics, Studying poetry.