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Reading the Rooms

Behind the paintings of the State Library of NSW

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The incredible painting collection of the State Library of New South Wales is documented for the first time.

The State Library of New South Wales holds an unrivalled collection of oil paintings. Unlike an art gallery where the focus is usually on aesthetic excellence, the rationale behind the Library’s collecting is broad and often eclectic. It features works from artists such as Conrad Martens and John Glover, and others of variable quality, execution and skill, with a range of formats and diversity of subjects that tell us much about Australia.

Reading the Rooms reveals this little-known — but rich and highly significant — collection. It delivers a fascinating and authoritative account of hundreds of paintings, and a compelling argument for their importance.

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