Books

Artist and Local Hero

Bill: The Life of William Dobell by Scott Bevan Simon & Schuster, 2014, 497 pages, $35   Scott Bevan’s admirably detailed and thoughtful new book on the life of Sir William Dobell OBE (1899–1970) offers us considerably more insight into Dobell’s life before, during and after the notorious court case over his 1944 Archibald Prize portrait of fellow painter Joshua Smith, than we have had before in the literature on this major artist. The book comes fifty years since James Gleeson’s very fine monograph William Dobell published in 1964 (coinciding with the major retrospective exhibition at the AGNSW) and nearly…

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