Who is Betty Churcher?
Betty Ann Churcher, AO is best known as director of the National Gallery of Australia from 1990 to 1997. She was also a painter in her own right earlier in her life. She won a travelling scholarship to Europe and attended the London Royal College of Art. She received an Master of Arts from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London in 1977.
From age 7 to 15, she attended Somerville House School paid for by her grandmother. She left school after grade 10, because her father didn't think she needed a higher education. Between 1972 and 1975, Churcher was art critic for The Australian newspaper. She was the Dean of School of Art and Design, Phillip Institute of Technology between 1982 and 1990, and director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia from 1987 to 1990. She left after disagreements with Robert Holmes à Court about the gallery's acquisition of a Pierre Bonnard painting.She was then appointed director of the Australian National Gallery. She has hosted several television shows in the 1990s and written several books, including The Art of War about war artists. Her son, Peter Churcher, was Australia's official war artist in the War on Terrorism.
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