Contemporary Collections: Preprints from the AICCM National Conference 17th g 19th October 2007 Brisbane pp. 72-83
This paper reveals the importance of oral history along with traditional forms of research, examination and testing as a means of pursuing information about the methods and materials of artists, as it provides information that cannot be ascertained through other sources. Information was gathered through interviews with Patricia Fullerton, his great niece, and the use of family correspondence and other documentary material, and technical examination of The Mrs. Nell Turnbull Collection of Hugh Ramsay paintings. The paper demonstrates the strength of the Ramsay family and associates in securing recognition of Hugh Ramsay (1877-1906) as a significant Australian artist in the public domain, and it reports events in the ‘lives’ of some of his artworks. It is demonstrated that interviewing people involved with the estate of a long deceased artist can also be useful in uncovering anecdotal information that provides a fuller picture of the history being explored and explain the background of artworks that examinations can only hint at.