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John Williams

acclaimed historian as well as photographer

About

An acclaimed historian as well as photographer, Williams continues a tradition of genre from Max Meldrum with studies of people, street photography and documenting the social reality around us. But more importantly, he speaks for a collective memory of his generation and his work further addresses the catastrophic impact of world wars both in Australia and Europe, with such significant social magnitude, the impact of destruction, the change of landscapes and the drama and scale of loss, where these portraits reveal life that can never be returned to what was before.

CV

PhD Modern History, Macquarie University.
MA Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts.
BSc Tech (Mechanical Engineering) University of NSW

Major Exhibitions (solo after 1980).
2004 John Williams. Sydney Diary 1958-2003. Musuem of Sydney.
1999 Portrait of the Month, National Portrait Gallery, Old Parliament House, Canberra.
1998 «Australian Correspondences», John Williams, photograph australien, Historial de la Grande Guerre. Péronne, France.
1997 Twenty Years on the Street: John Williams photographs, 1958-78, Byron-Mapp, Sydney.
Traces 1916-18 — 1988-95, Alliance Française de Sydney.
1995 Traces 1916-18 — 1988-95, Byron-Mapp, Sydney.
1991 John Williams Photographs, (retrospective) National Gallery of Victoria.
1989 John Williams Photographs, (retrospective) Art Gallery of New South Wales.
1986 From the Flatlands, as part of the exhibition Flanders Then and Now, Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
1985 From the Flatlands, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.
1984 Finding Time, Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne.
1983 Living Room Portraits, Gallery A1, Tokyo.
1982 Living Room Portraits, Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne.
1981 Living Room Portraits, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.

Selected exhibitions (group after 1980).
2010 Candid Camera Australian Photography 1950s-1970, Art Gallery of SA.
2004 Australian documentary photography after 1946, Art Gallery of NSW.
Photography collection on display, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
1999 Recent Acquisitions, National Portrait Gallery, Old Parliament House, Canberra.1999.
The 1970s, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.
1997 A Face in the Crowd, National Portrait Gallery, Old Parliament House, Canberra.
1996 From the Street, Art Gallery of News South Wales, Sydney.
1995 Sydney Photographed, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
1994 We Are Family, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1986 Flanders then and now, Australian War Memorial.
1984 Segmentations, Friends of Photography, Carmel, Calif., USA.
1983 Continuum 83, 13 Australian Artists in Japan.
1981 Reconstructed Vision, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Collections
George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography, Rochester, NY, USA.
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.
Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne.
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
Australian Parliament House.
Australian National Gallery.
Art Gallery of New South Wales.
National Gallery of Victoria.
Art Gallery of South Australia.
Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Tasmanian Museum and Gallery.
Alburt-Wodonga Regional Gallery.

Writing & Books
2009 Modernity, the Media and the Military. The creation of national mythologies on the WesternFront 1914-1918, Routledge, London.
2005 2005 Corporal Hitler and the Great War 1914-1918. The List Regiment, Routledge, London.
2004 Line Zero. John Williams photographs 1955-2004, UNSW Press.
2003 German Anzacs and the First World War, UNSW Press.
1999 Anzacs, the Media and the Great War, UNSW Press.
1995 Quarantined Culture: Australian Reactions to Modernism 1913 – 1939, CUP.
1989 John Williams Photographs, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Conference & other papers.
2000 Flights from modernity: Elisabeth Nietzsche, William Lane and Utopias in Paraguay. Duncan Waterson Festschrift, UTS and University of Sydney.
1997 Through Media Eyes. Australia and Germany 1913-1919
[Durch Medienaugen. Australien und Deutschland 1913-1919 ]. Goethe-Institut, Sydney.
1996 Wartime uses of photomontage at ‘Like life or lifelike?’, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney.
1993 The Amiens Gun, Symbol of Modernity?, at ‘War, Violence and the Structure of Modernity,’ (with Prof D.B. Waterson), New York University, NY.
Interregnum — from the Armistice to Peace Day, at ‘1919 and Beyond’, Australian War Memorial.
1992 Reporting the Battle of Fromelles, with Professor D.B. Waterson at Australian War Memorial Conference.
1990 Art, Race, War & Agrarian Myths, delivered at ‘An Anzac Muster,’ Monash University, Melbourne.
1980 Contemporary Photographic Criticism, at ‘Australian Photography Conference,’ Prahran CAE.

Journal articles, book chapters etc.
2001 Flights from modernity: Elisabeth Nietzsche, William Lane and Utopias in Paraguay. DuncanWaterson special edition of Journal of Australian Studies, UWA. (With Harry Knowles and Daniela Kraus).
1999 Through Media Eyes. Australia and Germany 1913-1919’. In ‘War and Other Calamities,’Journal of Australian Studies, UQP.
1994 ‘A postscript on Fromelles,’ Journal of the Australian War Memorial, October 1994.
1993 ‘Words on ‘a lively skirmish’: Fromelles in contemporary and foreign reports,’ Journal of the Australian War Memorial, October1993.
‘7 Battles,’ Journal of Australian Studies, no. 38, September 1993.
1992 ‘Art, War and Agrarian Myths: Australian Reactions to Modernism 1913-31.’ J. Smart and A. Wood (eds), An Anzac Muster: War and Society in Australia and New Zealand 1914-18 and 1939-45, Melbourne 1992.
1991 ‘Modernism and the Lost Generation,’ Art and Australia, September 1991.
1980 Contemporary Photographic Criticism, at ‘Australian Photography Conference,’ Prahran CAE.

Other writing (1973-on).
Photography critic The Australian 1973-77. Articles & book reviews in The Age, Nation Review,
National Times etc. as well as art, photography and cultural journals including Photofile, Art Network, Art in Australia.

Academic record.
1999-on Hon. Research Associate, Dept of Germanic Studies, University of Sydney
1998 Visiting Fellow, School of Germanic Studies, University of New South Wales.
1998-95 Visiting Research Fellow, School of History, Macquarie University
1995-88 Macquarie University, visiting lectures
1994-89 National Art School, East Sydney (part-time lecturer in art history).
1988-76 Sydney College of the Arts, (Foundation Head, Dept of Photography, Film and Audio-Visual Studies).

Grants & Awards
2002 Army Research Grant. German Attitudes and mentality in World War One.
2000 Centenary of the Council of Federation (German Anzacs in World War One).
1999-98 Australian War Memorial (German Anzacs in World War One).
1998 Australia Council, Visual Arts Board. Special projects grant for exhibition at Historial.
1998-97 Goethe Insitut, München. Stipendium (German language scholarship).
1994 Australian Army Research Grant. Research for Anzacs, the Media and the Great War.
1989 Australia Council, Visual Arts Board. Two-year fellowship to fund and develop artpractice.
1981 Art Gallery of NSW. Lady Warwick Fairfax Prize for photographic portraiture.

Find this artist’s work
Garden Path, a painting by Zsuzsa Kollo, 2010
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Colville Gallery

Galleries

91a Salamanca Place, Battery Point

Specialising in modern and contemporary Tasmanian and Australian artists.