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The Archibald Prize! As artistic conception that would change with the times!

WINNER OF THE FIRST ARCHIBALD PRIZE, W.B. McINNES.

CHARGE LAID: THE 1948 PORTRAIT OF FELLOW ARTIST JOSHUA SMITH, BY BILL DOBELL, WAS BEING DEEMED A CARICATURE BY TWO ENTRANTS WHO TOOK LEGAL ACTION. THEY LOST.

BRETT WHITELEY CAME UP WITH A FRESH LOOK.

BUT THE REAL DRAMA BEGAN WHEN WILLIAM DOBELL GOT UP IN A COURT CASE THAT PUSHED THE WAR OFF THE FRONT PAGE!

FRANK MORRIS

CRITICS, ARTISTS AND SELECTED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC COME OUT TO DEBATE THE ART PRIZE THAT HAS BEEN FRAUGHT WITH CONTROVERSY, THE ARCHIBALD PRIZE, ACCORDING TO ANNA WALDMANN, IN HER FORWARD TO THE ARCHIBALD PRIZE: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, 1921-1981.

THIS PRIZE HAS STIRRED THE IMAGINATION AND RATTLED THE ART ESTABLISHMENT SINCE ITS INCEPTION.

JOURNALIST, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, J. F. ARCHIBALD, WAS BORN IN 1856 AT KILDARE IN VICTORIA”. ATHOUGH HE WAS CHRISTENED ‘JOHN FELTHAM’, HE LATER FRENCHIFIED THE NAMES TO “JULES FRANCOIS”.

ARCHIBALD, THE FAMOUS EDITOR OF THE BULLETIN, THE ‘BUSHMAN’S BIBLE’, WAS HIGHLY INFLUENTIAL IN LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY POLITICS, LITERATURE AND ART.

WHEN HE LEFT SCHOOL, HE WAS EMPLOYED ON THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER, THE EXAMINER AND LATER, THE STANDARD. NOW, WITH A TRUCKLOAD OF EXPERIENCE BEHIND HIM, HE WENT TO WORK IN MELBOURNE FOR THE HERALD AND FOR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH.

WITH HIS FRIEND, JOHN HAYNES, HE FOUNDED THE BULLETIN IN SYDNEY IN 1880.

ARCHIBALD DIED IN 1919. ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, HE LEFT AN ESTATE VALUED AT NEARLY NINETY THOUSAND POUNDS. THUS, THE ARCHIBALD PRIZE WAS BORN.

THE GOOD TIMES:WHEN W.B.McINNES WON THE COVETED PRIZE FIVE TIMES IN SIX YEARS. THE BAD TIMES: WHEN WILLIAM DOBELL WAS ACCUSED THAT THE PORTRAIT LOOKED LIKE A CARICATURE.

THE INAUGURAL ARCHIBALD WAS AWARDED IN 1921. THE FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS IN PRIZE-MONEY WENT TO W.B. MCINNES FOR HIS PORTRAIT OF PROMINENT MELBOURNE ARCHITECT HAROLD DESBROWE-ANNEAR.

MCINNES WON AGAIN IN 1922 AND IN 1923 WITH PORTRAIT OF A LADY, ESTHER PATERSON, A BULLETIN ARTIST. IN ALL MCINNES WON THE PRIZE SEVEN TIMES, FIVE TIMES IN THE ARCHIBALD’S FIRST SIX YEARS.

BUT THERE’RE GOOD TIMES AND BAD.

THE REAL DRAMA BEGAN IN 1943 WHEN THE WINNER WAS ANNOUNCED:WILLIAM DOBELL’S PORTRAIT OF JOSHUA SMITH. THE WAR WAS SUMMARILY PUSHED OFF THE FRONT PAGES.

TWO OTHER ENTRANTS, MARY EDWARDS AND JOSEPH WOLINSKI, TOOK LEGAL ACTION AGAINST DOBELL AND THE TRUSTEES. WRITES HELEN PITT, OF SPECTRUM: “THE PAINTING WAS NOT A PORTRAIT AS DEFINED BY THE ARCHIBALD BEQUEST, BUT A CARICATURE”.

THE UPSHOT WAS THAT THE CASE WAS HEARD IN THE SUPREME COURT IN OCTOBER 1944. WRITES HELEN PITT: “THE COURT EVENTUALLY FOUND IN FAVOUR OF DOBELL’S WORK AND ORDERED THE CLAIMANTS PAY COSTS FOR DOBELL AND THE TRUSTEES”.

EDMUND CAPON, IN THE ARCHIBALD PRIZE: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, SAID“IF ART BE A MEDIUM THAT CONFUSES, CONFOUNDS AND DISTURBS … ARGUABLY, THE ARCHIBALD PRIZE IS FULFILLING AN ARTISTIC ROLE”.

“WHEN ARTISTIC CONCEPTIONS AND EXPRESSIONS ARE CHANGING SO RADICALLY. IT IS PERHAPS SURPRISING THAT THE PRIZE SURVIVED AT ALL. BUT IT HAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO”.

+<< BACKGROUND FROM THE ARCHIBALD PRIZE: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, 1921-1981.

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Grand Years in NZ: Great Kiwi Firsts. Dunedin -- it streets ahead!

DUNEDIN’S BALDWIN STREET IS THE LONGEST STREET IN THE STATE.

DUNEDIN KNOWS HOW TO KEEP IT VISITORS FIT AND TRIM. EVERYONE IS EXPECTED HOW JOG UP AND DOWN BALDWIN STREET AT LEAST 10 TIMES BEFORE BREAKFAST!

ONLY KIDDING.

BUT SERIOUSLY, IT WOULDN’T HURT TO DO IT AT LEAST ONCE A DAY. BALDWIN STREET, WHICH RUNS OFF NORTH ROAD, IS THE STEEPEST STREET IN THE WORLD – AND THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS PROVED IT.

IT HAS A GRADIENT OF 1 IN 1266. THAT’S STEEP! DUNEDIN ALSO PRIDES ITSELF IN HAVING THE ONLY CASTLE IN NEW ZEALAND; THE LARNACH CASTLE BUILT IN 1887.

IT IS ALSO, APPARENTLY, STEEPED IN A TRAGIC AND SCANDALOUS PAST. FRANK MORRIS.

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FLASHBACK: GRANVILLE RAILWAY TRAGEDY STOPS A CITY

THROUGH THE MESS AND MISERY.

FRANK MORRIS

THIS YEAR IS THE 44TH ANNIVERARY OF THE GRANVILLE RAILWAY DISASTER IN NSW.

AT 6.09 AM ON JANUARY 18, 1977, A TRAIN HEADED FROM THE BLUE MOUNTAINS, TRAVELLING TO SYDNEY WITH COMMUTERS ABOARD, STRUCK THE OVERHEAD ROAD BRIDGE WHICH CAME CRASHING DOWN ON THE TRAIN.

IT ROBBED THE LIFE OF 296 PASSENGER – 83 WERE KILLED, AND 213 WERE INJURED. IT WAS THE WORST RAIL ACCIDENT IN AUSTRALIAN HISTORY.

THE MOST ADVANCED EMERGERCY TEAMS WERE ON THE JOB.

“THE LIVING WERE GREETED WITH HOPE, THE DEAD WERE PASSED QUIETLY, COVERED IN BLANKETS,” REPORTED A MORNING NEWSPAPER.

<< FROM GRAND YEARS.

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Read all about it! Errol Flynn was untrained to make a movie

SNAPSHOT OF FLYNN TAKEN BY CHARLES CHAUVEL ON BOARD THE BOUNTY.

FRANK MORRIS

Errol Flynn was paid 50 pounds to play the part of Fletcher Christian in the Wake of the Bounty, his first film by the director Charles Chauvel.

Flynn, on his mother’s side, was a descendant of Midshipman Young, a pal and companion of Christian. Christian was part of crew of the Bounty mutiny of 1789.

Flynn was obviously untrained for the part – he was quite appalling -- but he wanted to live as an actor.

In 1933, he went to England. He got a part in Murder at Monte Carlo and the rest is history.

Flynn was paid three pounds for making a personal appearance at the cinema where In the Wake of the Bounty was being screened.

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AUTHORS: Robbery Under Arms was selected for “complete” realism

THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN STARLIGHT. POLICE SURROUND THE AREA.

THE GAP OF DISTANCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW.

FRANK MORRIS

Melbourne newspaper, The Argus, became the first newspaper to produce a subsidiary publication of any note. In 1850, it founded The Australasian as a quarterly, the first issue was 148 pages.

The editorial manifesto was clear-cut: to acquaint readers with public opinion and to introduce to the Australian public the “most remarkable” of English publications.

“(At the time) The Australasian was justified … to bridge the gap of distance between the old world and the new, and to keep before the Australian settlers and the native-born

alike, some cultural ties with the ‘home’ and some comparative standards,” writes Frank S. Greenop.

THE EDITORS REJECTED THE FIRST TWO OPENING CHAPTERS OF THE BUSHRANGING SAGA BECAUSE, IN THEIR OPINION, THEY THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE “FAR TOO GLOOMY”.

The magazine had adopted, according to Greenop, “an attitude of complete realism towards the public needs of the time and place.” The policy was successful. The Australasian was published weekly from 1864. It eventually achieved a nation-wide coverage.

In 1882, the editors rejected the first two chapters of Rolf Boldrewood’s bushranging saga Robbery under Arms “as being too gloomy”. Instead, the editors elected to serialise Boldrewood’s Old Melbourne Memories.

For the Fairfax-owned Sydney Mail, Robbery Under Arms was serialised over twelve months, from 1882 and 1883, a proved to be a great circulation winner.

But the Mail’s editor, Frederick Ward, had put up a strenuous argument to convince James Reading Fairfax that Boldrewood’s thoroughly moral tale “would not undermine respected from the property and due process of law”.

The magazine was still going strong when the powers to be thought that a modern-day facelift would do the trick.

<< FROM GRAND YEARS.

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TV: FOUR CORNERS “STILL DRAWING FIRE”, SAYS THE GUIDE

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

THE FLAGSHIP OF ABC JOURNALISM HAS BEEN EXPOSING CORRUPTION, MISDEEDS AND ABUSE OF POWER FOR 60 YEARS, SAYS THE GUIDE. THE WORK OF ITS REPORTERS – JOHN PENLINGTON, ANDREW OLLE, MIKE WILLESEE, CHRIS MASTERS AND SARAH FERGUSON AMONG THEM – HAVE EXPOSED CORRUPTION, INSTIGATED ROYAL COMMISSIONS, FOR SIX DECADES. FOUR CORNERS WENT TO AIR FOR THE FIRST TIME ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1961. THE PROGRAM HAS WON 62 WALKLEY AWARDS AND 23 LOGIES.

YOUR NEXT GRAND YEARS WILL APPEAR ON SEPTEMBER 10

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 25 August 21

Marilyn Monroe: Palm Springs – but folk are trying to have her moved

IN 1954, AT THE SHOWING OF SEVEN YEAR ITCH, MARILYN MONROE ATTRACTED A CROWD OF REPORTERS AS SHE STRUTTED HER STUFF. HER FAMOUS SKIRT, BY STANDING OVER THE SUBWAY GRATING IN NEW YORK, WAS BLOWING EVERY WHICH WAY.

 

CNN INTERNATIONAL: MARILYN MONROE’S STATUE, DRESSED EXACTLY AS SHE LOOKED WHEN SHE POSED FOR THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, OUTSIDE THE PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM, CALIFORNIA.

THE PHOTO OF MM THAT QUICKLY MADE ITS WAY TO BEING WORLD FAMOUS.

SAM SHAW           ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

ABOUT FORTY YEARS AGO, I WAS ASSIGNED BY (THE) PRODUCER TO COVER THE MAKING OF THE FILM SEVEN YEAR ITCH STARRING MARILYN MONROE. THE MAJOR OBJECTIVE WAS TO FIND A PHOTOGRAPHIC SITUATION THAT COULD BECOME THE LOGO THEME OF THE MOVIE.

THAT PHOTO WAS THE FAMOUS SKIRT BLOWING SEQUENCE OF MARILYN MONROE STANDING OVER A SUBWAY GRATING ON 51ST STREET AND LEXINGTON AVENUE IN NEW YORK.

SINCE THEN, THE PHOTOGRAPH HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST REPRODUCED PRINTS IN THE WORLD. THE SETUP FOR THE PHOTO WASN’T AN ACCIDENT. I DID A … COVER SHOT IN STEEPLECHASE PARK IN BROOKLYN’S CONEY ISLAND OF A GIRL IN A ROLLING BARREL AND USED A WIND MACHINE.

WHEN MM WAS PERCHED OVER THE GRATING, HER DRESS WAS BLOWING UPWARD IN THE WIND, THIS WAS A UNIQUE EVENT. JUST ABOUT EVERY COLUMNIST WAS THERE AND LOADS OF POTENTIAL MOVIE GOERS.

THE BEAUTIFUL MODEL, POSING BESIDE A SAILOR, WITH HER BLOWING SKIRT, MADE THE MAGAZINE SELL OUT THE FIRST DAY IT HIT THE NEWS-STANDS.

ON THE DAY OF THE PHOTO SHOOT, THE CROWDS WERE HELD BACK BY POLICE. ON THE SIDELINES WERE FAMOUS … BROADWAY COLUMNISTS. WHEN I SIGNALLED …  TO HAVE THE MAN AT THE WIND MACHINE UNDER THE GRATING TO TURN IT ON, MARILYN POSED FOR ME AS SHE BATTED DOWN THE WINDBLOWN SKIRT. JOE DIMAGGIO HAD WAS UPSET WITH HER; HE WALKED OFF THE SET.

SHE LOVED IT. THE CROWD LOVED IT.

FRANK MORRIS COMMENT.

TOM AND MARILYN MONROE ARE A DELIGHTFUL COMBINATION IN THIS COMEDY ABOUT A MARRIED MAN WHO BECOMES INFATUATED WITH A MODEL.

IN 2018, MARILYN MONROE EXHIBITION ORGANISERS HAD THE STATUE UNVEILED NEAR THE BENDIGO MUSEUM.

A GALAXY OF MARILYN MONROE FRONT COVERS AT A BENDIGO RESTURANT IN 2018.

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VALE: Legendary Brain Henderson, “Mr Bandstand”, dead – he was always at the forefront!

BRAIN HENDERSON. HERE IS THE NEWS.

BRAIN HENDERSON LOOKING “COOL”.

HE BROADCAST THE NEWS FOR 45 YEARS.

FRANK MORRIS

THE LEGENDARY BROADCASTER, BRIAN HENDERSON, A GIANT OF THE AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION INDUSTRY, HAS DIED AT AGED 89 AFTER A BATTLE WITH CANCER.

HE HOSTED THE SYDNEY NINE WEEKNIGHT NEWS FROM 1957 UNTIL HIS RETIREMENT IN 2002, BECOMING AUSTRALIA’S LONGEST-SERVING NEWS PRESENTER. HE HAD BEEN IN BROADCASTING SINCE THE LATE 1940s.

HENDERSON WAS BORN IN DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND, IN 1931. HE BECAME A RADIO ANNOUNCER AT 16. HE MOVED SYDNEY WHERE HE CAME TO LIGHT ON 2CH DOING THE BREAKFAST PROGAM BEFORE JOINING TCN9 IN 1957. HIS MAIN TASK WAS DOING TV COMMERCIALS AND PRESENTED THE MIDWEEK MOVIES.

“WIN A LUXURY DREAM HOME” -- THE WHOLE TWO-WEEK PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN WAS A HIT. PEOPLE FROM NSW AND INTERSTATE JOINED THE THRONG OF NEARLY 20,000 EXTRA READERSHIP.

HENDERSON SCORED ANOTHER COUP. THE STUDIO WAS SO IMPRESSED WITH HENDERSON THAT HE WAS ASKED TO HOST BANDSTAND, A NATONAL SHOW, WHICH LASTED FOR 15 YEARS. IT WAS WATCHED ON 28 STATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THE SHOW PIONEERED MUSIC BOARDCASTING IN AUSTRALIA.

WHAT MADE IT A RUN-AWAY SHOW AND SEEING HENDERSON IN DRAIN-PIPE TROUSERS AND BLACK-RIMMED GLASSES, WAS THE FACT THAT THE NINE ORANISERS HAS SELECTED THE RIGHT PERSONALITY TO LEAD IT. “HE WAS THE EPITOME OF LOOKING “COOL”, A COLLEAGUE SAID.

HENDERSON WON THE HIGHEST AWARD FOR A TV PERSONALITY, THE GOLD LOGIE, IN 1968.  HE READ THE NEWS ON NINE MOST OF THE TIME THE STATION HAD BEEN IN OPERATION. HE TOOK OVER READING THE MAIN BULLETINS WHEN CHUCK FAULKNER, ANOTHER NOTABLE NEWS READER, LEFT THE CHANNEL.

FRANK MORRIS COMMENT:

I MET BRIAN HENDERSON ONLY ONCE. AND THAT WAS WHEN I WORKED FOR AN AFTERNOON NEWSPAPER. I  WAS IN CHANRE OF THE PUBLICITY AND PROMOTIONAL CAMPIGN FOR ONE OF THE BIGGEST SHOWS EVER -- ‘WIN THIS LUXURY DREAM HOUSE” – IN TANDEM WITH CHANNEL NINE. THAT WAS IN THE MID 1960s.THAT’S THE TIME I SAW HIM IN THE FLESH.

I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT BANDSTAND WAS ORIGINALLY CALLED ACCENT ON YOUTH BEFORE IT BECAME BANDSTAND.

< < LISTENER IN-TV. JANUARY 1964; AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW,OCTOBER 8, 1982.

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GREAT WAR: SNIPER FROM GALLIPOLI – SHARP SHOOTING WAS HIS LIFE!

SHARP-SHOOTING BILLY SING HAS A BREAK FROM SNIPPING AT THE ENEMY.

BILLY SING WAS ONE OF MOST FEARED SNIPERS IN GALLIPOLI.

FRANK MORRIS

Billy Sing was a celebrated hunter. When put into the battlefield of Gallipoli, he was one the most feared snipers of this campaign. He had over 200 ‘kills’ and that made Sing, a Light Horseman from Queensland, a dangerous man.

Sing, a former ‘roo shooter, became a marked man. He was cool, lethal and focused, was how one writer described him, “after witnessing the felling of his brothers in arms” by Turkish snipers.

He was a mortal most feared by the Turks. A loaded weapon in Sing’s hand was a problem as deadly as any mortar gun. Fellows who knew him well said Sing should be regarded as “an extraordinary man”.

A plaque put up in his honour sums up our feeling for him: “Let us be grateful that Billy Sing was one of ours.”

Sing was eventually awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal “for conspicuous gallantry” as a sniper at Anzac Cove on March 10, 1916. In France “he led a unit at the Battle of Polygon Wood, in counter-sniper operations,” and he was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre.

BILLY SING WAS A HERO. HE WAS AWARDED THE DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL FOR GALLANTRY. BILLY SING WAS REGARDED AS “A MOST EXTRAORDINARY MAN”.

He married a Scottish lass in Edinburgh in 1917, and arrived home in Proserpine, Queensland in 1918. “The town turned out to greet him … there were brass bands, speeches and congratulations from dignitaries.”

Although Sing found it hard to settle down, there was another event in store: his wife left him.

He was given a settlement block but found the country was “unsuitable” for farming so he moved to the Miclere goldfield; then in 1942, he left for Brisbane to be near his surviving sister and worked as a labourer.

On May 19, 1943, in died in a boarding house in Brisbane from a ruptured aorta aged 57.

Gone was the World War 1 hero, “a man who saved many Australian lives.”

<< From Grand Years Australia: The story of us; Issue 2; Feb 26, 2015; and Frank Morris.

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Ruth’s Reminiscences: An Epilogue

THE COLLECTION OF LETTERS, CARDS, NOTES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS WAS PRESENTED TO THE NATIONAL LIBRARY, CANBERRA.

FRANK MORRIS

Judging from the copies of letters and notes in her collection, Ruth wrote frequently to newspaper editors, radio commentators and other public figures “always putting the case for peace and progress and women’s rights.”

Ruth and Jack Philpot moved to different suburbs over the next thirty years, living in the south-western area of Sydney.

She was a member of the Union of Australian Women from 1950 to 1980, an organisation which at the time was heavily concerned with Child Endowment, baby bonuses, assisting distressed families, and rising costs of rent and food.

The UAW was successful in having a maternity ward opened at Parramatta Hospital.

Jack died in 1975. Ruth lived out her final years in a retirement village. She died in 1994. In her will she directed that “the whole proceeds of the property be given to the Australian Peace Committee.”

The collection of letters, cards, notes and other documents belonging to Ruth and Jack – a contribution to the working class struggle – was presented to the National Library, Canberra

COMING: GOLDEN DAYS OF RADIO – FROM THE BEGINNING.

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‘Postie’ – he doesn’t know which way to turn!

<< FRANK MORRIS COLLECTION.

NEXT GRAND YEARS WILL APPEAR ON AUGUST 27.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 12 August 21

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