Australian Galleries: The Purves Family Business–The First Four Decades


Australian Galleries: The Purves Family Business–The First Four Decades is a celebration of the significant contribution Australian Galleries has had on the Australian commercial gallery scene since its inception. Led with formidable energy and determination by its founders, Tam and Anne Purves, and continued to the present day by their son, Stuart Purves, his two daughters Tamsin and Victoria and sister Caroline Purves. Australian Galleries pioneered the professionally operated commercial gallery, providing a platform to promote the reputation of an important group of Australian artists in the emerging post war art market.

Spanning the period of 1956–1999, Caroline Field’s sensitive and revealing narrative combines the personal story of the Purves family against the backdrop of an exciting and stimulating period in the Australian art world. Appealing to a diverse readership, this book includes fascinating archival photography, anecdotes and memoirs from major artists, critics, collectors and supporters of the gallery, providing a significant insight into the relationships, personalities, activities and events that occurred in the Gallery’s early growth.

Curator and Historian, Caroline Field, presents an engaging record of the rich and colorful history of the formative decades of one of the nation’s earliest commercial gallery spaces, and illustrates the enormous contribution Australian Galleries has made towards the promotion and public acceptance of Australian modern art.


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