Monash academic Margaret Plant celebrated with new namesake lecture series

Image: Monash University Archives, photographer Adrian Featherston (1982)

10 October 2018

Launching Tuesday 23 October @ 6.30pm with a presentation by National Gallery of Art (U.S.) curator James Meyer, Monash University is proud to announce the new Margaret Plant Annual Lecture in Art History, named for celebrated academic and prolific author Margaret Plant.

Plant began her teaching career at the University of Melbourne in 1962, as a tutor in the Department of Fine Arts. She then accepted an appointment to RMIT in 1968 as senior Lecturer in the History of Art  – the first academic appointment of an art historian within an Australian art school.

With Monash University, Plant has a long and distinguished association, as Professor of Visual Arts (1982-1996) and Emeritus Professor from 1996 onwards.

Plant first book, Impressionists and Post Impressionists (Oxford University Press) was published in 1966. She continues to write and publish to this day, including John Perceval (Lansdowne Editions, 1970), Paul Klee: Figures and Faces (Thames and Hudson, 1979), Painting Australia: A Child’s Guide to Australian Paintings (Craftsman House, 1995), and Venice: Fragile City, 1797-1997 (Yale University Press, 2002). Her most recent work, Love And Lament: An Essay On The Arts In Australia In The Twentieth Century (Thames and Hudson, 2017) features decade-by-decade essays that strive to cover “the entire spectrum of artistic mediums”.

Max Delany, Artistic Director & CEO, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art was taught by Margaret Plant at Monash University in the 1980s. He explains, “It is significant that Monash University is honouring Margaret Plant with this lecture series. As a lecturer, art historian and mentor, Professor Plant has inspired countless artists, curators, writers, art historians and theorists, so many of whom have become prominent protagonists in their fields. Her knowledge, passion and global perspective have been foundational and enduring, introducing new ideas to contemporary art and art history, and continuing to offer new insights and perspectives to the wider community through her on-going writing and research. Her influence cannot be under estimated and this is a wonderful tribute to her immeasurable cultural contribution.”

To launch the series, Monash University will host a talk by James Meyer, curator of art (1945-1974) for the National Gallery of Art (Washington, U.S.A), and previously, Deputy and Curator of Art for the Dai Art Foundation (New York, U.S.A.) He is the author and editor of two definitive books on minimalism, Minimalism (Themes and Movements) (Phaidon Press, 2000) and Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties (Yale University Press, 2004), has written important catalogue essays on numerous artists including Anne Truitt, Eva Hesse and Ellsworth Kelly, and is curator of upcoming shows on Mel Bochner and Barry Le Va.

Meyer will present The Double: Return and Reenactment, a discussion of how movements of the “long Sixties” (1955-1979) – including antiwar, civil rights, and feminism – are represented in contemporary American art by artists such as Mary Kelly, John Malpede, Mark Tribe, and the collective BLW (Rosalinda Borcila, Sarah Lewison, and Julie Wyman). The talk draws from his forthcoming book, The Art of Return: The Sixties and Contemporary Culture (University of Chicago Press).

Entry to Meyer’s talk is free and is open to the general public.

Tuesday 23 October 2018 @ 6.30pm
The Pavilion, Building H, Level 8
Monash University, Caulfield campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East, VIC