Art Gallery of New South Wales

The collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) can be viewed online. The AGNSW site will also indicate if the works are on display.

Leda 1935-39  oil on canvas 77 x 107 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

Leda was painted in London by the light of 24 candles cut in half. With the use of a mirror, Murch had 100 candlepower. The pointillist work was left in the care of the McIlwraith family when Murch and friends Wallace and Pat Thornton set off for a camping trip of Europe, oblivious that WWII was imminent. Frank McIlwraith was the Australian representative of Smith’s Weekly. The painting returned to Australia in the late 1940’s.

Frank’s wife Madge and son Shaun McIlwraith returned the painting to Arthur. Madge had looked after the work, along with others through the London Blitz. Leda was hung in the Royal Academy and later purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

 

The idle hour 1933  oil on canvas on hardboard 81.9 cm diam Art Gallery of New South Wales

The first version of this beautiful circular painting was first exhibited by the Society of Artists on 6 Oct 1933 and is in the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Murch painted it while working with George Lambert 1927 – 30. He had made a plaster cast of the girl’s head in order “to get the shadows right”. The Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales suggested amendments and then purchased the second version in 1933. The painting has been exhibited in 150 years of Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW 1938; Jubilee Exhibition of Australian Art 1951 (touring exhibition); Brave New World National Gallery of Victoria 2017. Reproduced on the cover of “The White Chrysanthemum” by Nancy Keesing, Angus and Robertson 1977

Arthur wrote in 1975:

“The idle hour” 1933, a circular painting, was a second version. Originally I had made sculptures of the baby and child, but the advent of Amy Johnson with an escort of 10 planes in 1930 caused me to run outside to look and the model was spoiled. I decided to paint a picture, using the sculptures and a red-headed model as the mother. I grouped them together to see how the light would fall. The brocade on which the baby rests belonged to Lambert’s studio.

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Shirley Hovey and Marjorie Larkin Jones – the models for The idle hour. Photo by Ria Murch, 1990’s

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Study for ‘An Idle hour’ 1933 Oil on canvas on plywood 91.5 cm (diam) Purchased 1956 Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

The aeroplane 1929-30 oil and egg tempera on canvas on board 48cm x 40cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

This frozen moment in the Croydon backyard of Murch’s grandfather depicts the awe of the new (an unseen aeroplane flying overhead) and the domestic routine of feeding the animals. Arthur’s cousin Aileen Cripps is the model for the woman. Edmund Harvey the model for the kneeling man.

 

Beach idyll 1930  tempera on plywood 35.5 x 59.1 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Allen 1933  oil on canvas on hardboard 48 x 39.7 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Kudungra 1933 pencil on ivory wove paper 41 x 29 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

The mail man (Harry Tilmouth) 1933 pencil on ivory wove paper Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gosse’s Bluff/Tnorala Central Australia 1934 oil on canvas on plywood 36.5 x70.1 cm

 

Mount Liebig/Waitiyawanu Central Australia 1934 oil on canvas on board 36 x 58.5 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Yoka Pentu Pui 1933 pencil on ivory wove paper 35.2 x 27.1 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

Alpullurgna drawing conté, pastel on ivory wove paper 44.2 x 33.3 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portrait of an aboriginal man 1934 oil on unstretched canvas 46 x 38.7 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Suzanne Crookston 1935  oil on canvas 76 x 60 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales. Gift of Miss Jacqueline Crookston, 2006. Winner of the Society of Artist’s Medal, 1935

 

Flower piece 1937  oil on canvas on paperboard 42.8 x 29.5 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Ponte Greve Florence 1945  watercolour on thick ivory wove paper 28.5 x 36.5 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Mountains, Fejus, France 1943 pencil, watercolour on thick ivory wove paper 28.7 x 39.9 cm

 

Study (Ria Murch) 1943 drawing, pencil on ivory wove paper 44.6 x 33.1 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

The picnic 1944 oil on paperboard 25.4 x 30.4 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

The gorge 1945 oil on canvas on paperboard 39.3 x 70.7 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

The girl and the goat 1948 sanguine, watercolour on thick ivory wove paper 34.7 x 44.5 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Bathers 1949 oil on canvas on hardboard 45.4 x 53.3 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

New England 1949 oil on canvas on hardboard 49.4 x 63.2 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Sleep 1950 oil on canvas 61.7 x 69.5 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Study (mother and child) 1951 pencil, watercolour on thick cream wove paper 28.0 x 38.7 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

By the sea 1954 oil on canvas on plywood 60.3 x 50.8 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

The wind 1955 oil on hardboard 53.4 x 76.2 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

 

Mawalan, Yirrkala 1965 oil on hardboard 48.5 x 38 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales

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Small mermaid c1947 16 x 13 x 5 cm. Art gallery of NSW research library and archive

Mugs c1947. Art gallery of NSW research library and archive

Bowl c1947. Art gallery of NSW research library and archive

Bowl c1947. Art gallery of NSW research library and archive

Bowl verso. Art gallery of NSW research library and archive