John Joseph Wardell Power

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Dr John Joseph Wardell Power (1881–1943) was an Australian Modernist artist. He studied medicine at the University of Sydney and served as a doctor in the First World War. After the war he left medicine and studied at the Atelier Araújo in Paris and became interested in Cubism and abstract art. He was a member of the London Group and the Comite Abstraction-Creation, Paris. JW Power died in Jersey, Channel Islands in 1943. He left his estate (worth £A2 million[1]) to the University of Sydney where the Power Institute of Fine Arts now bears his name.[2] The Power bequest was the core funding to set up Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art.[3]


Power authored the book Eléments de la Construction Picturale (Paris, 1932). In his treatise, he acknowledges a Brazilian painter, Pedro Correia de Araújo (who he calls Senhor Pedro Araujo) as the one who introduced him to the subject.[4] The University of Sydney has over 1000 of his works, including 150 canvases. The National Library of Australia also holds a collection of artworks from his collection, personal papers and printed material.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Power Institute Foundation". University of Sydney. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  3. ^ "MCA History". MCA. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  4. ^ Power, J.W., Elements de la construction picturale : apercu des methodes des maitres anciens et des maitres modernes, 1933, pg. 5
  5. ^ "NLA Power Collection". NLA. Retrieved 5 September 2014.

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