National Gallery of Australia | Oral History Collection | James Gleeson interviews Australia's greatest artists



In the late 1970s Dr James Gleeson AO, Australia’s leading surrealist painter, interviewed 98 Australian artists in their studios to discuss their works that had been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia. As an artist, curator, writer and administrator, Gleeson brought a unique perspective to these conversations. The recorded interviews form the basis of a significant resource on Australian visual arts. The recordings are accompanied by 2000 reference photographs of the artworks and transcripts of the interviews. Because of the fragility of the media, the interviews have been migrated to digital files to ensure the preservation of the material and to increase access to it. The interviews have historic and cultural significance as primary research material in the study of contemporary Australian art. They provide personal insights into how the art works were created and their enduring influence on Australian society. This collection also provides an additional context – the story of the development of the National Gallery’s Australian art collection at an early period in its history. The James Gleeson Oral History Collection in the National Gallery of Australia Research Library has been inscribed into the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register 2008 as being of significant Australian cultural heritage.


  • Tuckson

    11/05/2011 Duration: 02min

    James Gleeson interviews Margaret Tuckson, 12 November 1979 [unknown location]

  • Vassilieff

    11/05/2011 Duration: 04min

    James Gleeson interviews Danila Vassilieff, 5 November 1979 [unknown location]

  • Wallace-Crabbe

    11/05/2011 Duration: 03min

    James Gleeson interviews Robin Wallace-Crabbe, 8 February 1980 [unknown location]

  • Warren

    11/05/2011 Duration: 02min

    James Gleeson interviews Guy Warren, 4 September 1979 [unknown location]

  • Watters

    11/05/2011 Duration: 03min

    James Gleeson interviews Frank Watters, 15 August 1979 [unknown location]

  • Williams

    11/05/2011 Duration: 06min

    James Gleeson interviews Fred Williams, 3 October 1978 [unknown location]

  • Wilson

    11/05/2011 Duration: 02min

    James Gleeson Interviews David Wilson, 3 November 1979 [unknown location]

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