Joseph Brown (artist)
|Born||30 March 1918
|Died||24 August 2009
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Brown was born Josef Braun in Łódź, Poland in 1918 and migrated to Australia in 1933 at the age of fifteen, settling in Melbourne. He trained initially as an artist but after returning from war service in 1945 became increasingly involved in the fashion industry.
After the war, he became a leading art dealer and consultant, promoting a wide range of Australian artists, both historical and contemporary. He reclaimed the work of forgotten artists, introduced and mentored many new artists, and was a great advocate for portraiture as an art form. Simultaneously he built up an outstanding private collection of Australian art.
In May 2004, he donated the major part of his collection of Australian art to the National Gallery of Victoria — the most generous single gift of works of art ever made to a public gallery in Australia. Displayed at the Ian Potter Centre for Australian art, The Joseph Brown Collection provides a cross section of Australian art. Included are paintings from all major periods from colonial to Heidelberg, to Aboriginal and twentieth-century art.
The NGV selected more than 150 works, including paintings, sculptures and works on paper from colonial times to the present day. Dr Brown's act of benefaction followed his gifts of over 450 works of art to Australian public galleries, including the National Gallery of Victoria, over the past forty years.
He died in the Cabrini Hospital, Melbourne on 24 August 2009.
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