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Arthur Streeton, The domes of St Mark's, c.1908, oil on canvas, 62.4 x 75 cm. The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Gift of Dr Samuel Arthur Ewing 1938.
© Reproduction enquiries should be forwarded to The Ian Potter Museum of Art.
Bernard Hall, Despair, c. 1916, oil on canvas, 100 x 75.5 cm. The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Gift of Dr Samuel Arthur Ewing 1938.
© Reproduction enquiries should be forwarded to The Ian Potter Museum of Art
The Ewing Collection was donated to the University of Melbourne by Dr Samuel Arthur Ewing in 1938. It comprises fifty-nine works by Australian artists, including Nicholas Chevalier, Louis Buvelot, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin, Rupert Bunny, Bernard Hall, Hans Heysen and Max Meldrum, with twenty-three paintings, thirty-one watercolours, three prints and one sculpture, spanning the period 1862 to 1940.
A medical graduate of the University of Melbourne, Dr Ewing was a keen art patron and supporter of Melbourne’s cultural life. In 1907 he became a member of the Melbourne Savage Club, a meeting place frequented by Melbourne’s intellectual and artistic circles where he befriended many artists and subsequently acquired their work. In 1908 he made his first acquisition with a landscape painting by Hans Heysen, and over the next thirty years the Ewing Collection was formed with some twenty-two artists in all being members of the Savage Club.
The Ewing Collection provides us with an insight into the collecting style of an art patron and aficionado, but also into the taste of the Edwardian period in Melbourne when views of the Australian landscape together with certain types of genre and domestic scenes were favoured. Dr Ewing donated his collection to the university with the sentiments ‘that our youth may be inspired with the beauty as well as a deeper love of their country by the works of our artists’. Until the 1980s this collection was displayed in Union House.