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A delightful and enlightening whirlwind tour of some of the great masterpieces in Australian galleries

In Australian Notebooks, Betty Churcher revisits some of the artworks she most cherishes—a seminal Picasso, early works of the Heidelberg School, a striking portrait by Lucian Freud—and invites us to look afresh at the treasures that can be found in Australian galleries.

Taking in the glorious work of Australian artists such as John Olsen, Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan, as well as masterpieces by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse and Giambattista Tiepolo, through her own accomplished sketches Betty draws out the particular charm and context of each piece.

Interwoven with extraordinary stories—one canvas flew off the back of a truck on the Pacific Highway; another was imported from Imperial Russia, paid for with a briefcase full of cash—Betty's engaging insights bring the artworks to life.

With gorgeous full-colour reproductions, this is a book to turn to again and again for inspiration, solace and delight.


[Churcher's] gorgeously illustrated Australian Notebooks is a record of a life lived loving art.

Phil Brown, The Courier Mail

[Churcher] is one of our great communicators and explainers in a time of too much information and too little wisdom, when we need them the most.

Kathleen Noonan, The Courier Mail

An utterly charming volume with great stories accompanied by colour plates and lovely sketches. It’s a sort of art memoir and Churcher is an engaging writer who offers clarity with a loving touch.

Phil Brown, The Courier Mail

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    April 1, 2014

    Miegunyah Press

    264 pages

    RRP $44.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Betty Churcher

The Forgotten Notebook


Margaret Preston
Strange Country
Australian Art
Memoirs Of A Pet Lamb
Girl in a Green Gown
Scribble, Scribble, Scribble
The Finger
Crossing Cultures
Brunelleschi's Dome
Wrestling With The Angel
Roger Fry
Nothing If Not Critical
Colin Colahan
Twenty Poems To Bless Your Marriage
Dare to Sketch
The Art Of Flora Forager
Jonathan Olivares Selected Works
The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve