Family’s rich art legacy on show at SAM

By John Lewis

The latest Shepparton Art Museum exhibition is really two shows in one.

Opening at the Welsford St museum tonight, the Bundanon Trust's touring Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul is being shown alongside The Boyd Family: A Legacy of Pottery, which features more than a hundred pottery pieces created by three generations of the Boyd family and curated from SAM's substantial ceramics collection.

SAM director Rebecca Coates said Shepparton was the only place in Australia that could offer this unique insight into the diversity of the Boyds' creativity.

"Together, these two exhibitions explore the trajectory of one of our nation's most important artistic families," Ms Coates said. 

She said many Boyd family ceramic pieces were donated to the Shepparton Art Gallery by friends and members of the public from the 1960s onwards.

"These pieces celebrate decoration, and the everyday; they reveal the way in which art and design intersected for the Boyd family and the influences that crossed art, architecture, literature and life," she said.

The Bundanon Trust exhibition features more than 40 paintings, including masterpieces borrowed from state art museums, as well as drawings, letters, photographs and sketchbooks from Arthur Boyd's adolescence through to his final years.

New SAM curator Sarah Wall said the ceramic show contains work by Arthur Boyd's father, Merric, who was producing pottery from 1910.

"He wanted his work to be used and be available to everyone. We're seeing the resurgence of handmade ceramics now — it's definitely a trend," Ms Wall said.

Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul runs until November 24.

The Boyd Family: A Legacy of Pottery runs until March 15, 2020.

Both exhibitions will be officially opened at SAM tonight, Friday September 13, with speeches from 6pm to 8pm.