Curator Dr Sally Quinn has unveiled her latest exhibition. New art exhibitions, Cosmopolitan will open on August 31 at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery on The University of Western Australia’s campus..

Cosmopolitan takes a dive into 1930s Australian art, showcasing the diversity of artistic styles from this period and the strength of UWA’s art collections. “The 1930s was a stimulating and complex time economically, politically, socially and artistically in Australia,” Dr Quin said. “It is framed by two cataclysmic events: the 1929 Wall Street Crash which precipitated the Great Depression and the 1939 entry into the Second World War.”

It focuses on material culture and highlights the work of five contemporary Western Australian artists experimenting with textile materials in new ways. The exhibition features 1930s paintings, drawings and prints by a number of well-known and under-recognised Australian artists, including Elise Blumann, Lina Bryans, Grace Crowley, Ian Fairweather, James Gleeson, Nora Heysen, Frank Hinder, Ethel Spowers, and Danila Vassilieff.

“New technological developments saw an increase in the global exchange of information, ideas and images as Australia began to see itself as part of an international community,” Dr Quin said. “The eclectic and frequently enigmatic quality of 1930s Australian art is part of its appeal and its strength.”

Cosmopolitan gives equal prominence to the role female artistic voices played during this period. It also highlights the diversity of artistic styles which characterised the decade. It will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 5pm, except for public holidays. Admission is free. It will be accompanied by a series of public programs, including artist and curator talks, tours and a forthcoming symposium. For more information visit

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