Justice Roddy Meagher
Justice Roddy Meagher has generously chosen to will his private art collection to his alma mater, the University of Sydney.
An exhibition of works from the outstanding collection was displayed at the University Art Gallery during 2009 to celebrate a connoisseur's life-long passions and generosity.
Collecting Passions: A century of Modernism from the home of Justice Roddy Meagher opened at the University of Sydney on Thursday, 30 July, 2009, and featured works from the "who's who" of international and Australian art from greats such as Picasso, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec and Matisse to Roland Wakelin, Ian Fairweather, Clarice Beckett, Grace Cossington-Smith and Ken Whisson.
"The history of collecting art in Australia contains few stories as alluring as Roddy Meagher's," says Roger Benjamin, research professor in the History of Art at the University of Sydney. "He is one of the most passionate yet private collectors in Sydney... admirably, he has made it his purpose to pass on his passion to a new generation of Australians."
Collecting Passions provided an intimate look into the world of Roddy Meagher and celebrated the former Supreme Court Justice's lifetime of collecting, which began when he was studying Arts at the University of Sydney and continues to this day. "I despise people who buy art for investment," says Meagher, whose Sydney and Southern Highlands homes are packed with visual gems.
Using Meagher's own rugs and furniture, Dr Ann Stephen, senior curator of the University Art Gallery, recreated the intimate atmosphere of Meagher's home in the gallery. "I have selected about 100 works that focus on Modernism," says Stephen. "The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see a wonderful private collection that is both quintessentially Sydney and quite cosmopolitan."
Other artists whose work was featured in Collecting Passions include 20th century moderns as Jean Cocteau, Ben Nicholson and Alexander Calder, John Passmore and Clement Meadmore.
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