Author(s): Betty Churcher
In the 1990s Betty Churcher drew her way around the galleries of the world as she arranged artwork loans for blockbuster exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia. In 2014 she discovered a sketchbook she had forgotten and decided to create a final companion volume to her bestselling Notebooks series. She wrote the manuscript in six months, but died shortly after completing it. A prize-winning artist in her own right, Betty's sketches were inspired by works of some of the biggest names in art: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rubens and Vermeer through to Picasso, C zanne, Monet and Duchamp. Betty's sketches and notes bring their artworks to life as she explores the stories of how they were created and reveals each artist's influences. As in the bestselling Notebooks and Australian Notebooks, The Forgotten Notebook showcases Betty Churcher's greatest talents: championing art and sharing the excitement of discovering meaning in the great artworks of the world.
Betty Churcher left school after grade 10, because her father did not 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 and taught Art History at the progressive Phillip Institute of Technology (now RMIT University) between 1982 and 1990, and director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia from 1987 to 1990. She left after disagreements with Robert Holmes O Court about the gallery's acquisition of a Pierre Bonnard painting. She was then appointed director of the Australian National Gallery. She hosted several television shows in the 1990s and authored several books, including The Art of War about war artists and Notebooks.