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ABC Children’s TV Club – Monday Showcase (1961)

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Phidias and his art gallery

Original classification rating: G. This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Artist Jeffrey Smart is 'Phidias’ who takes his young audience on ‘a walk through the art gallery’ featuring artworks from viewers in Melbourne, Sydney and ‘all the way from Perth’. He uses the first picture he selects – a painting of a jug and toast rack – to demonstrate how everyday things can make good subjects. The following abstraction from Melbourne is described in detail, including the colours utilised, despite the program being broadcast in black-and-white.

Curator’s notes

A carry over from The Argonauts radio tradition in which experts were called upon to share their knowledge, this segment features intelligent art criticism from established artist Jeffrey Smart. Unlike many children’s shows that are patronising, Smart offers extremely honest criticism on how those art works could be improved. Providing much more than the usual art show-and-tell segment, Smart comments critically on subject matter, style, colour and the media used in a respectful showcase of children’s work from around the country.

The segment also demonstrates an early and effective example in the long tradition of involving viewers at home in program content through interactivity. Producers of early children’s television such as this show were prescient in their understanding that passive viewing would not hold the audience for long. In this case viewers from across Australia are named and recognised as their artwork is validated and treasured on television for the nation to see, a highly effective method of engaging the audience and making children all around Australia feel that they are, or could be, a part of the show. Here Smart comments that even Perth is not far away with television.

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Downloadable Video – FOR EDUCATIONAL CRITICISM AND REVIEW PURPOSES ONLY

This clip is available for download for the limited purpose of criticism and review in an educational context. You must obtain permission from editorial@aso.gov.au for all other purposes for use of this material.

Terms & Conditions

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described here and elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions. ALL rights are reserved.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before downloading this clip:

When you access ABC materials on australianscreen you agree that:

  1. You may download this clip to assist your information, criticism and review purposes in conjunction with viewing this website only;
  2. Downloading this clip for purposes other than criticism and review is Prohibited;
  3. Downloading for purposes other than non-commercial educational uses is Prohibited;
  4. Downloading this clip in association with any commercial purpose is Prohibited;

The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

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