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Sydney ART – AGNSW gains Sidney Nolan’s ‘First-class marksman, 1946

31 March 2010

Ned Kelly has been hung in the AGNSW
Gleeson O’Keefe Foundation is the mystery benefactor that is to provide funds for the Art Gallery of New South Wales to acquire one of the great Australian paintings of the 20th century –Sidney Nolan’s First-class marksman, 1946.

Australia’s most expensive painting, Sidney Nolan’s First Class Marksman, now hangs in the  Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Edmund Capon, the very delighted Director of the AGNSW,  made the announcement  this morning after much speculation as to where the painting might end up.    Capon has revealed the painting was bought with money from the estate of the late artist James Gleeson and his partner Frank O’Keefe.

First Class Marksman was sold last week at auction for a record $5.4 million (including commission)

Gleeson and O’Keefe established a foundation in 2006 with the gallery as its sole beneficiary.

It was initially thought the painting would find a home at the National Gallery in Canberra, which holds 26 of 27 works from Nolan’s Ned Kelly series.

The previous auction record for Australian art was $3.48 million in 2007 for Brett Whiteley’s landscape The Olgas For Ernest Giles.

 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone 02 9225 1744 or Toll Free 1800 679 278  Website www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

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