Art in Australia. A Quarterly devoted to the Arts. [A run of all six issues of Series 4]
Sydney, 'Sydney Morning Herald', 1941 and 1942.
Large quarto, 86 to 90 pages each issue, extensively illustrated in colour and black and white; loosely inserted in the first number is a small two-part perforated order-gift subscription form.
Colour-pictorial wrappers; spines slightly cracked, with minor loss to the foot of Numbers 3 and 4 (extending into the foot of the front cover of the latter); attached vertical card title-band still present on the front cover of Number 5; trifling signs of use and age; an exceptional run.
The fourth and final series of 'Art in Australia' comprised only six quarterly numbers between March 1941 and August 1942. They were a marked departure in all respects from the previous 94 numbers of the journal, which commenced publication in 1916: new editor, new format, new emphasis on international art. The editorial in the first issue spells this out succinctly: there will be 'a complete change in appearance and methods of production with a broadening of policy.... In the past "Art in Australia" has been almost entirely devoted to the painting, sculpture and architecture of this country. Luxurious productions from France, England and other countries were available to inform the artist, student and art-lover of the work and activities of the art world outside. But the barbarity unleashed in Europe is destroying much of the art of the past and present and has made it impossible for periodicals we prized so much to continue production. The countries of their origin have fallen under Hitler's yoke, men responsible for their production - artists and writers - killed, art galleries and elaborate printing and processing plants, blown to bits. But Art cannot die, and we in Australia can and will carry on our efforts to preserve, encourage and foster the culture our enemies would destroy. In spite of paper shortages and many other difficulties "Art in Australia" will play its widened part by presenting the art of all countries, all periods and all schools'. Peter Bellew modelled its visual excellence and intellectual content on 'Verve', and 'under his stewardship, the art historian and director of London's National Gallery, Sir Kenneth Clark, declared it "unquestionably the best art magazine being published today anywhere in the world"' (Harding and Morgan: 'Modern Love - The Lives of John and Sunday Reed', 2015). Notwithstanding, the end came without warning: the editorial in Number 6, a strong (and parochial) message about the 'Need for War Artists', contains no hint of its fate. [6 items].