In October this year, the Power Institute supported the Department of Art History’s 50thAnniversary of Teaching through a wonderful party that celebrated our great teachers, mentors and students. It was an evening that really warmed our spirits! Over 250 of you joined us, including past and current students and teachers representing cohorts from the first year of teaching in 1968 right up to 2018. Did you attend the anniversary celebrations? Complete this short survey.


Since 1968, the Department has been leading generations of students to engage with the rich history and theory of art and moving images. We have helped to educate, train and enthuse a host of students of Art History and Visual Culture who have gone on to important positions at museums, universities, and galleries, and inspired many with a lifelong passion for art. A slideshow screened at the anniversary presents profiles of some of those graduates as well as archival images of field trips, social gatherings, student work and lecture posters. Watch below or here.

During some truly meaningful speeches, ourdistinguished alumni and faculty reminisced about memorable moments of their time in the Department. MC’d by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Annamarie Jagose, we heard from Associate Lecturer Stephen Gilchrist (University of Sydney) who gave a thoughtful acknowledgement of country, Professor Mary Roberts (University of Sydney), Maud Page (Director of Collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales), Ben Jenkins (comedian), and Mark Ledbury (Director of the Power Institute). Virginia Spate AC FAHA also addressed the audience after Mary Roberts’ speech about Virginia’s time teaching in the Department.


Artist Agatha Gothe-Snape presented the twenty third iteration of her work Every Artist Remembered with artist and academic Christine Dean in the midst of the bustling party. The durational text-based drawing is an attempt at the impossible task of remembering every artist. We also enjoyed a live jazz trio, all current students at the Conservatorium, and had the pleasure of viewing two works of art from the University of Sydney’s collection: JW Power, Marine c. 1933 and Miyalk djama, Yolngu women’s group work Mendung (Land snail shells) c. 1984 for the evening.


The success of the gathering was a great endorsement of continuing goodwill towards the Department of Art History’s core mission: to teach art history, film studies, museum and curatorial studies in Australia, informed by the cultural, geographical and social contexts of this country, in the most innovative and dynamic way we can. It was a huge thrill to see so many alums and guests mingling and sharing the evening, as well as joining in the special tribute to our beloved Professor Virginia Spate AC.


A sincere thanks to everyone who joined us and made the 50thAnniversary of Teaching a night to remember!


Did you study film studies, art history, fine arts, museum studies or art curating at the University of Sydney? Sign up to our newsletter to receive regular updates about Power Institute events. If you think your profile should in be in this slideshow and you can’t find it, please let us know at












Image 1. Danica Hobden, Lauren Tsamouras and Harry Birch. Students at the Conservatorium.

Image 2. JW Power, Marine c. 1933 and Miyalk djama, Yolngu women’s group work Mendung (Land snail shells) c. 1984

Image 3. Audience at the 50th Anniversary of Teaching listening to speeches.

Image 4. Professor Mary Roberts speaking about Professor Virginia Spate AC.

Image 5. Professor Virginia Spate AC.

Image 6. Ben Jenkins reminiscing about his time as a film studies student in the Department.

Image 7. Maud Page reminiscing about her time as an art history student in the Department.

Image 8. Maud Page and Stephen Gilchrist.

Image 9. Agatha Gothe-Snape making the 23rd iteration of Every Artist Remembered with Christine Dean.

Image 10. Agatha Gothe-Snape with Christine Dean as they discuss Every Artist Remembered.

Photographer: Stefanie Zingsheim.