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Douglas Dundas

1900 - 1981


Douglas Robert Dundas (1900-1981), art teacher and painter, was born at Inverell, N.S.W. He took up watercolour painting as a teenager. In 1921 he was introduced to the artist Eliot Gruner who had been scouting the region for a landscape subject. Gruner's influence led to Dundas enrolling in the Sydney Art School evening classes in 1922, while working by day as a window dresser in a retail store. The following year he was a student in the Saturday afternoon painting classes. Dundas won the 1927 Society of Arts Travelling Art Scholarship to study abroad for two years. He studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art, London, travelled in Italy, and lived in Paris where he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Francaise. He returned to Sydney in 1929 to hold his first one-man exhibition at the Macquarie Galleries. In 1931 Dundas joined the full-time staff of the Art Department, East Sydney Technical College, later the National Art School. He was Head Teacher of Painting, 1938-1960, then Head of the School until his retirement in 1965. In 1952 he had taken long-service leave for a study tour of Great Britain and Europe. Later that year he led the Australian delegation at the International Conference of Artists held during the Venice Biennale. In 1963 he received a Ford Foundation Fellowship to study art education in the U.S.A., Japan, England and Greece. Douglas Dundas married twice: first, in 1929, Sheila Margaret McEacharn, by whom he had a son, Kerry (b. 1931), who became a well-known photographer; and secondly, in 1941, Dorothy Thornhill (1900-1987), the painter and noted long time teacher of figure drawing at the National Art School from 1937.


Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, most state and many regional galleries

Douglas Dundas art

Signed and dated lower right


Artwork Title:
Sydney Changing City, 1957
Oil on board
122cm x 136.5cm

Signed and dated lower right


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