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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr BLAKELEY (Darling) .- I do not think that long speeches are necessary on this matter. We know the extreme divergence of opinion amongst artists themselves as to the value and excellence of pictures/ We have the " Cubist " and the " Vorticist," and while a " Vorticist " picture may, in the opinion of some, appear to be a representation of a 'bus in a London street with the D.T.'s, and a " Cubist " head may look to others like a number of Hansards after an allnight sitting, there are people who will eagerly and seriously discuss the merits of these extraordinary pictures. I have seen some of Mrs. Rowan's pictures, and I thought them beautiful. I am not much concerned about art. I appreciate that which pleases me, and if a picture does not please me I have no time for it. But these pictures did please me. I thought they were beautiful. I have spoken of them to people who have been to New Guinea, and I know a good deal of the Australian bush and Australian birds myself, and I felt that I was able to look at these pictures' and express an opinion about them. Notable artists have deliberately stated that the Rowan collection is worth only so much, but we have had notable artists recently criticising the artistic works of a gentleman who, I should say, is the black-and-white artist of this century, and that is Norman Lindsay. His work has been condemned by men occupying high positions in the world of art, but when it came to the question whether Norman Lindsay should send his pictures to London, or not, they were more intolerant, shall I say, than the members of the Government when they ' apply the guillotine to our debates. I hope the opportunity to acquire this beautiful collection of pictures will not be lost, and personally I should be prepared to pay £10,000 for it, the price asked by Mrs. Rowan.

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