POLES APART: The Blue Poles Controversy
This is the story of vision, politics, money and cultural leaps of faith.
The year is 1973. A reforming Labor government swept into power determined to change the direction of the country. In an act of unpredendented daring the Whitlam government paid the highest price ever for an American painting for it's planned National Gallery. The painting was Jackson Pollock's "Blue Poles".
'Drunks did it' screamed the tabloid press. Journalists, politicians and cartoonists had a field day, while everybody, but everybody, across the nation had an opinion.
Today painter Jackson Pollock's masterpiece is unquestionably the most famous painting in Australia. It has become a symbol of our independence, signaling the departure from our British roots and entry into a brave new world.
"... SHOULD BE COMPULSORY VIEWING FOR UNDER-35s TO PERSUADE THEM THAT AUSTRALIANS WERE ONCE RADICAL." - The Sun-Herald.
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