The John Barrow collection of framed original artworks is a visual documentary of an important period in the history of Australian children’s literature. It covers the years from the 1980s through the early 2000s. The 1980s in particular were a boom time for publishers and creators of picture books, when many illustrators, well known today, were just beginning their careers. The collection reflects different styles of illustration, book design and publishing trends over these 25 years. It was an important era as Australian picture books were recognised as fresh, innovative and increasingly, world-class. The ten artists on exhibition include Ann James, Alison Lester, Julie Vivas, Bob Graham, Peter Gouldthorpe, Andrew McLean, Patricia Mullins, Terry Denton, Elizabeth Honey and Leigh Hobbs.
There are only two other formed collections of this type, one located in the National Gallery of Victoria and the other in the State Library of Western Australia. The John Barrow collection is the largest and most significant. Forty works from the 135 in the collection will be exhibited. The National Centre of Australian Children’s Literature is proud to share this unique collection with the public. The exhibition features floor talks, professional development sessions for teachers and librarians, and activities for children.
Read what The Canberra Times had to say about the John Barrow Collection.