Thesis Eleven 82 (1):38-53 (2005)

Bernard Smith’s canonical book, Australian Painting, 1788-1960, was shaped by the Cold War. This forced the emerging discipline of Australian art history onto a trajectory that would not be shaken for another two decades. More than art history determined Smith’s innovations. This article proceeds from that obvious but easily overlooked point, that Smith and his book were deeply conditioned by the intellectual climate of Cold War Australia. The appearance of Smith’s book and, henceforth, Australian art history’s concerns with postcoloniality and anxiety about nationality derive from this. Smith’s particular Cold War has shaped Australian art history ever since
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DOI 10.1177/0725513605054358
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