Press Centre

Media Release
20 November 2000

In The Artist's Footsteps Announces Federation Project

The life and works of Australia's most famous painters will be taken into Australian classrooms next year through a unique project 'In the Artist's Footsteps' created by medialaunch Pty. Ltd., a Melbourne based Communications and Internet company.

The program will be launched with the life and works of Heidelberg School Artist Tom Roberts, who painted the Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. the Duke of Cornwall and York, (later King George V) May 9 1901 (1903) to coincide with Federation celebrations.

In the Artists Footsteps Managing Editor Shirley Baynes-Smith today said, "The site being curated by leading Australian art historian and author Andrew Mackenzie, will provide a special learning experience for students and art lovers of all ages."

Tom Roberts
aged two years c. 1858
Private Collection

Ms Baynes-Smith said, "the creation of the site now means that the lives and works of Australia's major artists will be made far more accessible through the Internet with images and historic photographs being preserved for ever."

'In the Artist's Footsteps' goes far beyond the normal art textbook, with online audio interviews with relatives of the artists. Andrew Mackenzie's impeccable research and detail make the content of the site extremely rare and a major reference point for educational institutions.

"The rare personal photographs and letters provide an insight into the lives and the social framework in which these famous artists worked."

Managing Director of Pty Ltd, Ron Smith said, "In the Artist's Footsteps would expand its coverage on the artists including Sir Arthur Streeton, Walter Withers, Charles Conder and Hans Heysen. Funding for the expansion will come from corporate sponsors.

The site will also be implementing an education program related to schools and local artists.

The preservation and promotion of the lives and works of our famous artists such as Roberts, Streeton, McCubbin, Conder, Withers and others through the Internet is an important strategy as over time photographs and documents can deteriorate.

In the case of Tom Roberts and 'The Big Picture' a communications campaign is being built around the site to provide wide access to the information. Mr Smith said that In the Artist's Footsteps will also provide an opportunity for Australian art and artists to be promoted internationally as a tourism strategy for galleries.

Tom and Lillie Roberts
Outside the Studio at Talisman, Kallista
Tom Roberts
Born 8th March 1856 Dorchester, Dorset England.
Died 14th September 1931 Kallista
Buried Boyes family plot Illawarra Churchyard near Longford in Tasmania

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith Managing Director medialaunch Pty. Ltd.
(03) 98185700


Left: Arthur Streeton - Above Us The Great Grave Sky, 1890
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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