Dr (Virginia) Ruth Pullin
The Library's holdings of Eugene von Guérard’s drawings, most of which were produced during his first three years in Australia (1852–55), represent a pivotal moment in the artist’s career. In 1852 the 41-year-old Austrian-German artist encountered the ‘new’ Australian landscape for the first time. The drawings in the Library’s collection, including the goldfields’ drawings, reveal the startling impact of this unfamiliar landscape on von Guérard’s art.
A key outcome of Dr Pullin's project is the anticipated reconstruction of von Guérard’s ‘lost’ sketchbooks from drawings in the Library's collection. The artist’s numbering system reveals that the first of his 35 extant Australian sketchbooks was his fourth Australian book, and Dr Pullin believes that pages from the first three Australian ‘missing’ sketchbooks lie hidden within the Library’s collection.
The aim of Dr Pullin's study is to research the drawings in the Library’s collection for publication, to redefine this significant collection within the context of von Guérard’s European and Australian careers, and to illuminate the historical and environmental information locked within individual drawings.