Morris Cohen was a passionate and skilled amateur artist whose work was exhibited alongside that of many of the leading Australian artists of his generation.

Born in Ballarat, he was a self-taught artist and caricaturist. He travelled and painted extensively overseas and was part of the thriving Melbourne art scene at the turn of the 20th century, exhibiting alongside Hans Heysen, George Lambert, Margaret Preston, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Thea Proctor.

An unusual technique with pastels allowed him to create moody, impressionistic images and his work can be seen as a link between the Australian Impressionists and the Tonalists of the 1920s, Max Meldrum, Clarice Beckett, Percy Leason and Colin Colahan.

This will be the first time the Gallery’s large collection of works by Cohen have been shown and include a recent acquisition of an early work.

Image: Morris Cohen, Twilight, Victoria, circa 1900 (detail). pastel on paper. Gift of Valerie and Yvonne


2 April–1 August 2021

Open 10 am–5 pm daily

Selected works

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