THE GARY & GENEVIEVE MORGAN COLLECTION | Part One
In this first catalogue of selections from the collection, we are delighted to present the wonderful pieces you will see and read about in the coming pages. The wide range of pottery that begins the auction illustrates the many creative approaches Australian potters have brought to this ancient craft: the early output of Bendigo Pottery, the eccentricity of V.A.P., the artistry of Merric Boyd and the whimsy of Grace Seccombe are all well represented. Other notable inclusions are Castle Harris, Marguerite Mahood, Philippa James, William Ricketts and Klytie Pate. The section continues into the 1950s and ‘60s with works by Allan Lowe, Arthur Boyd and Deborah Halpern, amongst others, truly a wonderful selection. The catalogue continues with a selection of furniture including some of the earliest pieces created in New South Wales and Tasmania in the 1820s and ‘30s. Andrew Lenehan gets a look-in as do Rocke & Co. and Altmann & Lindsay. Their practical creations give way to the beautifully embellished works of art created by Robert Prenzel, Rudolph Unger and John Blogg among the other wood carvers represented in this catalogue. All of them have left their mark and their works are keenly sought-after by museums and galleries.
A small but impressive range of jewellery is followed by some wonderful paintings including an exceptional original watercolour by John Lewin, a superb view of the Upper Yarra by Charles Rolando, a 1916 superb self portrait by Constance Tempe Manning and an important Clifton Pugh painting of his son. Of course, there’s plenty more to see but don’t miss the two gold nuggets hidden in the catalogue. One of Gary’s other passions is his involvement in gold. These two raw nuggets are spectacular examples from his mines in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
We hope you enjoy the catalogue, and we look forward to welcoming you during the viewing in The Gallery, Tonic House, 386 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
Gary and Genevieve Morgan have been collecting Australiana for decades. Their East Melbourne home is a living museum, a celebration of their passion for the artworks, sculptures, pottery, wood carvings and furnishings that are constant reminders of their own history and the two centuries in which they can trace their familys’ presence in Australia. Gary’s great grandfather, William H. Williams jointly published The Diggers’ Advocate in 1853, only eighteen years after John Batman’s visit to the Port Phillip District. A few years later, in 1856, he published Language
of the Aborigines of the Colony of Victoria and other Australian Districts. His other early publications included How to Settle in Victoria (1855), The News Letter of Australasia (1856) and The Collingwood and Richmond Observer (1857). He was one of the best-known printers and publishers in the young colony and was an enthusiastic advocate for immigration and development alongside cooperation with the original inhabitants.
Gary’s father, Roy Morgan, born at Malvern in 1908 and educated at Brighton Grammar and Melbourne Grammar, also passionate about his hometown, was elected to the City of Melbourne Council in 1959, chaired the town planning committee, and was involved in negotiations that led to the development of the City Square. He was a councillor until 1974. In the 1940s, he had established what became the best-known market research company in Australia, which was taken over in the 1960s by Gary, who continues as Executive Chairman of the company to this day.
Driven by their shared enthusiasm for Australian creativity and symbology,Gary and Genevieve have always sought to furnish their homes and workplaces with the work of Australian artists and artisans. They have lived in several Victorian-era homes, all of which have accommodated their ever-growing collection. As they acquired more pieces – Gary would say they “rescued”
them – the Morgans have generously loaned some of their pieces to various museums, libraries and other institutions so that they could be more widely appreciated. For example, their collection of the works of Nicholas Chevalier was recently displayed in the East Melbourne Public Library and some of their large collection of Early Melbourne Paintings are on display at the Old Treasury Building in Spring Street.