John McDonald

Art Critic, Author
Inducted 28 November 2007

John McDonald was born in Cessnock in 1961 and was educated at Cessnock High School and Sydney University.

He has been Senior Art Critic for the Sydney Morning Herald for many periods since 1983 and still holds that role. He has contributed to local and international publications on art and numerous other subjects such as films, travel and cricket, and he has worked as an editor.

John has also written catalogue essays, and monographs on artists such as David Strachan, Ari Purhonen and Jeffrey Smart.

From 1999 to 2000, John was Head of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. During this time, he was the curator of the exhibition, Federation: Australian Art & Society 1901-2001, which toured the country for eighteen months.

As a lecturer, John has appeared at colleges and public forums throughout Australia, and has lectured in Art History and Theory at the National Art School, Sydney.

In 2004, John held the position of Director of the new Contemporaries Gallery in Sydney.

In 2009 he published The Art of Australia Vol. 1: Exploration to Federation (Pan Macmillan) – the first part of a comprehensive history of Australian art.

Plaque location
89 Vincent Street, Cessnock (garden bed)