In 2020, the National Gallery of Australia brings us “Know My Name: Australian women artists 1900 to now”, the largest exhibition of Australian women artists ever to be held. The exhibition foregrounds the vital contributions of Australian women artists such as Margaret Preston and Grace Crowley, who shaped Australian Modernism, to the vibrant collaborative art made by Indigenous women such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Explore this landmark exhibit in depth and celebrate the achievements of Australian women, in art, history, politics and life on the land.
Admire more than 150 artworks by Australian women, from Margaret Preston to Patricia Piccinini, Tracey Moffatt, Angelica Mesiti and the Ken Family Collective
Celebrate the contribution of Australian women to our culture at the National Portrait Gallery, where director Karen Quinlan addresses the group
A full-day excursion to the spectacular High Country of the Monaro, visiting artist Lucy Culliton’s garden and studio, and two private gardens lovingly tended by the women who own them
A visit to Parliament House to explore of the role of women in Australian political life, followed by lunch at the National Arboretum
Day 1: Assemble for background lecture on the National Gallery’s Know My Name exhibition. Welcome dinner at local restaurant.
Day 2: Time at the National Gallery exploring the exhibit and permanent collection; continue to Parliament House for a guided tour focusing on Women in Parliament. Lunch at the National Arboretum, followed by a tour of the site.
Day 3: Private excursion to the Monaro, visiting artist Lucy Culliton in her garden studio before exploring two magnificent private gardens with the visionary women who are their custodians. Sumptuous lunch and afternoon tea.
Day 4: Tour concludes with a morning visit to the National Portrait Gallery, where director Karen Quinlan addresses our group.
The tour begins and concludes at our hotel in Canberra. We can assist in booking transport by plane or bus.
Included meals are shown with the letters B, L and D.
Sunday November 22: Arrival
Make your way to Canberra and check in to our hotel from 2pm. This afternoon Dr Kathleen Olive gives a talk on the Know My Name exhibition. In recent years, Kathleen has grown increasingly interested in Italian women’s art, particularly from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and she is heartened to see the growing recognition of female artists in Australia. We asked Kathleen why she finds these “Old Mistresses” so fascinating: “It’s long been argued that historical women artists simply couldn’t be as proficient as their male counterparts, due to a lack of formal training and opportunity. But recent research has shown that, in their own day, these women artists were considered sophisticated, innovative and commercially successful – despite many practical and professional challenges. I’ve been heartened to see recent initiatives such as Know My Name and more conscious decisions, on the part of public galleries and private benefactors, to celebrate and value the cultural contributions of women to my own country.” In the evening we gather at one of Canberra’s fine female-led restaurants, for a celebratory meal. (D)
Monday November 23: Know My Name
We spend the morning at the National Gallery of Australia in the company of Kathleen, exploring the Know My Name exhibition with an introductory talk from a gallery guide. This afternoon we travel out of the city centre to the National Arboretum, where we enjoy lunch at the Arboretum Café, followed by a short tour of the site and their delightful Bonsai collection. Before returning to the hotel we visit Parliament House for a guided tour inspired by their recent online exhibit “Women in Parliament”. (B, L)
Tuesday November 24: High Country
Today we venture into the Monaro region, located in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, to visit the garden studio of acclaimed still life and landscape painter, Lucy Culliton. After 20 years of exhibiting in Surry Hills, Lucy moved to a 1930’s Art Deco farmhouse at Bibbenluke where she paints surrounded by a rambling country garden filled with poppies and her beloved rescue animals. Afterwards, we move on to two magnificent private gardens where the women owners introduce us to their historic pastoral properties on the Monaro plains. At altitudes of around 1000 metres, the gardens are ‘cold climate’, with four distinct seasons. We enjoy fine country hospitality with a sumptuous lunch at Shirley, where the six acres of gardens have been recently redesigned by the renowned landscape gardener Paul Bangay. At Hazeldean, a sheep property and well-known Angus stud that has been run by the Litchfield family since the 1850’s, we enjoy tea in the 1907 homestead. Our host Libby Litchfield shows us the large gardens, with their mature trees and traditional plantings. November is a gorgeous time to visit, with the warmer weather bringing full leaf to the mature trees and spring flowers still abundant, from crabapple blossoms to wisteria, peonies, viburnums, iris, roses and campanula – to name a few! (B, L)
Wednesday November 25: Portrait Gallery
We conclude our tour with a visit to the National Portrait Gallery and its growing collection of representations of the individuals who have shaped Australian identity, history and culture. We concentrate on works in the gallery that celebrate the contributions of Australian women to our cultural life. The gallery is curated by Karen Quinlan, who came to prominence at Bendigo Gallery and has offered to address our group. After coffee in the gallery café, we return for the hotel for check-out. (B)
Dr Kathleen Olive
A literary and cultural historian with a PhD from the University of Sydney, with particular expertise in Italy, Spain and Japan.
Dr Kathleen Olive is a literary and cultural historian with close to 15 years’ experience leading tours to Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Japan and the United States. She has a strong personal interest in the visual arts, interior design, fashion history and contemporary fiction.
Kathleen holds a BA with first class Honours and a PhD, both from the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Sydney. For a number of years she worked as a lecturer at the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, Sydney, teaching Italian language, literature and history. Kathleen continues to teach, as a national lecturer for the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS), and in adult education courses in Sydney. In 2015, her edition of the Codex Rustici (a 15th-century commonplace book that Kathleen worked on with Nerida Newbigin, for her doctoral studies and for publication) was presented to Pope Francis on his first official visit to Florence.
Kathleen’s historical and artistic knowledge stretches from the Middle Ages through to the early 20th century. In Italy she has led numerous tours focusing on the medieval and Renaissance periods. In Spain she has a particular concentration on the “Convivencia” of Islamic, Christian and Jewish cultures in the south, and on the medieval pilgrimage routes of the north. Her tours of the USA’s north-east have focused on American collectors and their Gilded Age reinventions of European glory days, and in Japan she is particularly interested in contemporary design, from fashion to architecture. Kathleen speaks fluent Italian, is conversant in Spanish and understands French.
Kathleen was first involved on a tour to Italy in 2003 and it sparked her passion for on-the-spot communication of art and history. Since 2010 she has worked exclusively for Academy Travel, leading 6 tours a year. She has designed a number of our popular tours, from the Florence residential, to surveys of the courts of Renaissance Italy and of central Italy’s villas and gardens, as well as “twin city” tours to Palermo and Naples and to Florence and Rome. Closer to home, Kathleen is leading Academy Travel’s inaugural tour to Japan and our popular tours to Tasmania.
We asked Kathleen, what do you enjoy most about leading a group tour?
“I really enjoy travelling with groups who share interests in the history, culture and even food of a destination. It means that those personal connections are there right from the beginning, just waiting to be made.”
“There’s nothing I enjoy more than finding out the particular interests of my fellow travellers – an artist, a dish they love eating, their memories of a particular place – and finding a way to make an experience happen for them. That might mean recommending a particular wine bar, directing them to a museum that features artists they already like, or suggesting the best time of day for a view over a town. It’s so satisfying to be involved in making these kinds of memories for people.”
“Many of the people I travel with comment on my passion for the places I visit. It’s not just that I know my names and dates – it’s that I really enjoy bringing out the connections between history and art, for example, or between landscape and food. I never grow tired of injecting this kind of life into ‘dry’ academic knowledge.”
The award-winning Avenue Hotel provides comfort and luxury in the heart of Canberra, close to Parliament House, local museums, dining and entertainment in the Braddon district. www.avenuehotel.com.au
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate, taxis or public transport are also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Our tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity