‘Painted with Feeling’: Portraits, Artists and Sitters – May 2022

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24 May – 27 May 2022


‘Painted with Feeling’: Portraits, Artists and Sitters – May 2022
Tour Highlights

Join literary expert Susannah Fullerton, and award-winning artist David Henderson for 4 days based at the Abode Murrumbateman situated in the heart of Canberra’s cool climate wine country.

In May this year a superb exhibition is coming to the National Gallery in Canberra – ‘Shakespeare to Winehouse: Icons from the National Portrait Gallery, London‘. The very first portrait ever acquired by the London Gallery, that of William Shakespeare, is just one of the fabulous portraits coming to Australia. This exhibition will show the faces of Darwin and Dickens, the Brontes and royalty, Amy Winehouse and the Beatles, plus many more.

This exciting new mini-tour will include a visit to this splendid exhibition. There will be talks on portraits of Shakespeare and those that feature in his plays, on the Art of British Portraiture, on the many faces of Queen Elizabeth I, and on the art of capturing a likeness within biography. You will learn about the artists and their sitters. Oscar Wilde once said “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter” – you may discover the truth or otherwise of his dictum.

Historian Manning Clark loved art and the fabulous Manning Clark House in Canberra has some interesting portraits on display. We will enjoy a private visit to this house and a talk by Sebastian Clark, the son of Manning and Dymphna Clark. We will also meet local author Freda Marnie Nicholls. A writer of Australian biographies, Freda will talk us about portraiture of ordinary Australians who have extra-ordinary lives. Her new book ‘Outback Teacher’ is released on 3rd May 2022.

Chris Hammer, internationally popular thriller writer, will also meet with the group, to discuss his portrait of journalist Martin Scarsden in his best-selling novels. His most recent crime thriller ‘Treasure & Dirt’ was published in September 2021.

There will be a visit to Garangula Gallery, a private gallery housed in an award-winning building which holds a truly unique and stunning collection of Australian art.

Palerang Homestead was established in the 1840s and is connected with Australian poet David Campbell. We will enjoy a gorgeous lunch and private visit to Palerang, with time to explore the house and gardens (and see the crinkle-crankle wall). There will be dinner in the historic village of Gundaroo, and a visit to Tuggeranong Homestead where war historian Charles Bean worked on his mammoth depiction of Australia at war.

This is a tour that combines art, literature, history, and good food, with many special visits not available to the general public. It ends with a guided visit to the fabulous exhibition.

Note: The tour price includes a copy of ‘Treasure & Dirt’ (2021) by Chris Hammer, and a copy of ‘Outback Teacher’ (2022) by Freda Marnie Nicholls.



The following itinerary describes a range of sites which we plan to visit. At the time of publication (February 2022) most visits have been confirmed.

The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours and confirmation of private visits. Participants will receive a final itinerary, together with their tour documents, prior to departure. The tour includes meals indicated in the detailed itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=dinner/light supper.

Murrumbateman – 4 days

Day 1: Tuesday 24 May: Canberra Airport – Forrest – Mulloon – Murrumbateman
  • Meeting Point: Canberra Airport, Arrivals Hall, at 10.00am.
  • Manning Clark House, Forrest incl. talk by Sebastian Clark
  • Welcome Lunch at Palerang Homestead, Mulloon
  • Light supper

After a morning arrival at Canberra airport, we enjoy a private tour of the former residence of Manning Clark and his wife, Dymphna, which was designed by the architect and writer, Robin Boyd in 1952. It was here that the Clarks hosted luminaries such as Gough Whitlam and Patrick White, and remained friends with Boyd until his death in 1971. The living room includes the piano Manning Clark played on breaks from writing his six-volume History of Australia, artwork by John Perceval, and a portrait of Dymphna by Pamela Houstein. We also view the sitting room which features a print of a 1972 Arthur Boyd portrait of Manning Clark (the original is on loan to the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra), and the floor-to-ceiling library of books in Manning Clark’s study. Today the book collection exceeds 10,000 titles. There is also Dymphna’s typewriter which she used to work on the Aborigines Treaty Committee (at the invitation of poet Judith Wright), translating pioneering works on Aborigines by German anthropologists and editing the diaries of Baron von Hugel, an Austrian naturalist who visited Australia in the 1830s. During our visit we are delighted to confirm that Sebastian Clark has kindly agreed to meet with us and talk about his parents.

The poet David Campbell was a fishing companion of Manning Clark. Born in 1915 at Ellerslie station near Adelong, New South Wales, David Campbell is remembered as one of Australia’s finest lyric poets. He was a grazier in the Monaro for most of his life and a decorated airman during WWII. Over thirty years he published eleven books of poems and two of short stories, many of which appeared in The Bulletin. His poetry, which was inspired by his love of the land, had considerable influence on fellow writers. We travel to Palerang Homestead, a former 1840s inn which lay on the coach road connecting the Monaro district to Goulburn and Sydney. David Campbell wrote much of his work when he and his family lived here through the mid 1960’s.

For now the sharp leaves
On the tree are still
And the great blond paddocks
Come down from the hill.

Following a welcome lunch and tour of Palerang homestead we travel north to Murrumbateman, a former gold mining town and the centre of the Canberra district cool climate wine region. On arrival we enjoy a light supper together at the hotel. (Overnight Murrumbateman) LD

Day 2: Wednesday 25 May, Murrumbateman
  • Lecture 1:’The Many Faces of William Shakespeare – portraits of the playwright and portraits in his plays’ by Susannah Fullerton
  • Lecture 2: ‘The Face of Gloriana: The Splendid Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I’ by Susannah Fullerton
  • Lunch at Olleyville at Shaw Vineyard Estate
  • Lecture 3: ‘The Art of British Portraiture, from 1500 to the Present Day’ by David Henderson
  • Lecture 4: ‘Portraits of Victorian Writers – Dickens, Darwin, the Brontes, and more’ by Susannah Fullerton
  • Dinner at Olleyville at Shaw Vineyard Estate

We spend the day at the family owned Shaw Vineyard Estate, a boutique winery established in 1998 on “Olleyville”, a 700 acre fine wool producing property founded in the mid 1800’s. This multi-award winning winery produces one of Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignons. The vineyard features a new state-of-the-art cellar door with a tasting room and fine restaurant run by chef Anthony Davis.

We spend a relaxing day enjoying lectures by Susannah and David.  Morning, afternoon tea, lunch and dinner at Olleyville Restaurant are all included.

Lecture 1: The very first portrait acquired by London’s National Portrait Gallery was the one known as the ‘Chandos Portrait’ of William Shakespeare. There is a huge need to know what the world’s greatest writer actually looked like – was he dark and swarthy, did he wear an earring, or did he look prim and self-satisfied like the bust of him in Stratford’s church? Susannah will discuss the various portraits that possibly depict this great poet and playwright, examining the claims for authenticity of the Chandos, the Droeshout Portrait and the Cobbe Portrait, along with the bust and other unsatisfactory depictions. We have good portraits of his famous literary contemporaries – Marlowe, Jonson, Sidney and Raleigh – why no definitive picture that shows us the face of the greatest of them all? And why do we need to visualise Shakespeare? What do we want him to look like?

Portraits also play an important role in Shakespeare’s works. Think of Portia’s would-be lovers in The Merchant of Venice – one of them draws from the casket “the portrait of a blinking idiot”. Hermione, in The Winter’s Tale’ comes to life as a statue – her husband Leontes is amazed by the life-like depiction of a woman he believes dead. The art of portraiture has a fascinating role to play within the writings of the Bard.

Lecture 2: One of the portraits coming to Canberra from London is Nicholas Hilliard’s picture of Queen Elizabeth, painted c.1575. During her reign, Elizabeth became a public icon and there are fabulous portraits of her which did a great deal to manipulate her public image. She was painted as a young princess, throughout her life, and she was painted posthumously. In the various depictions she holds fans or prayer books, stands near globes or in front of ships, she wears crowns and symbolic jewels and, over time, details have been covered up or changed which today’s technology can now reveal.

How did Queen Elizabeth I control her image through such portraits as ‘The Armada’ or ‘The Ditchley’? The early portraits were made to attract suitors. While Hilliard became her official miniaturist, she refused to grant rights to portraits of herself to any single artist, and her official ‘Serjeant Painter’ had to approve every work that showed her face.

This talk will look at some of the most interesting portraits of the Queen, discuss their history and provenance, and show how Elizabeth I cannily used art to ensure that her subjects saw exactly the right image of their sovereign.

Lecture 3: The depiction of individual likeness has always had a special role in British art, even though its early proponents were foreigners like Hans Holbein and Anthony Van Dyck. It was not until the Royal Academy was established in 1768 that a genuinely national school of painting emerged under its first president, Joshua Reynolds. The Academy’s ‘grand manner’ of portraiture was ultimately derived from Italian Renaissance and Baroque models and was perfectly suited to depicting the confident faces of British Enlightenment society. Reynolds and his rival Thomas Gainsborough were the leading names in a tradition that encompassed such brilliant practitioners as Thomas Lawrence and George Romney. Their imposing style persisted in one form or another until the Edwardian age and its final manifestation in John Singer Sargent’s seemingly effortless bravura.

The radical art movements emanating from the studios of Paris at the beginning of the 20th century had a profound effect on British painting. While Modernism often took liberties with appearances, its emphasis on the authenticity of individual experience gave portraiture a significant role. The experimental approach of Walter Sickert, Duncan Grant and Wyndham Lewis revitalised the tradition, bringing to it a formal rigour.

Post-war Britain saw the influence of a variety of international art movements; David Hockney’s portraiture had its genesis in Pop Art’s cool immediacy and wit, and Lucien Freud’s stark vision of the human condition was part of the re-emergence of painting based on direct observation. British portraitists working today continue the vital traditions established by their predecessors. Humane, pragmatic, whimsical or bold; the best British portraits encapsulate some the most appealing aspects of the national character while celebrating the singular nature of the sitter.

Lecture 4: In the Victorian era, more people became literate, printing grew cheaper and reading became a past-time not just for the idle rich, but for the working classes as well. Those who read, or heard read, the novels of Charles Dickens wanted to know what the immortal Boz looked like, and Dickens was only too willing to pose, in carefully considered position and against well-chosen backgrounds (no photoshopping then if you wanted something improved!) so that his devoted readers could see what a prosperous and nice man he was. Darwin’s theories might have upset the nation, but people still wanted to have an idea of the appearance of this radical thinker. The exhibition will bring to Australia likenesses of Dickens and Darwin, along with the famous ‘Pillar Portrait’ of the Brontës, done by would-be artist Branwell Brontë. Today it hangs in London’s gallery not because of the artist, but because of the fame (and lack of other portraits) of the sitters, three of the great Victorian novelists.  George Richmond RA was noted for his especially flattering portraits of writers – he painted Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, Harriet Martineau and Lord Macaulay, amongst others. Richmond claimed he never consciously flattered his sitters, but lovingly got the best out of them instead.

This talk will discuss the debt that lovers of Victorian novels and poems owe to portrait painters, and will look at some of the wonderful portraits of 19th-century authors.

We enjoy dinner at Olleyville tonight. (Overnight Murrumbateman) BLD

Day 3: Thursday 26 May, Murrumbateman – Harden and Murrumburrah – Gundaroo – Murrumbateman
  • Lecture 5: ‘The Portraits of Biographies – how should biographies depict a subject?’ by Susannah Fullerton
  • Lecture 6: ‘Portraiture of ordinary Australians who have extra-ordinary lives’ by Freda Marnie Nicholls
  • Lunch at Harden Murrumburrah Arts Council
  • Private viewing of the Garangula Gallery, Harden
  • Dinner at Grazier Restaurant, Gundaroo

This morning we depart for the twin towns of Harden and Murrumburrah, in the Hilltops Region. At the Harden Murrumburrah Arts Council, a renovated historic Courthouse, we enjoy two lectures. The development of the Murrumburrah Courthouse started back on 13 February 1861 when the local Justices of the peace, Edgar Beckham, the Commissioner for Crown Lands and the residents of Murrumburrah petitioned the NSW Government for a watch house and courthouse to be established in the area. This was due to the increase in crime and lawlessness that had arisen in the district especially after the discovery of gold at Demondrille and nearby at Burrangong.

We enjoy the first lecture by Susannah Fullerton.

Lecture 5: There are artistic portraits of famous people, but there are also biographical portraits. In 1791 Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson set new standards when it came to literary biography and gave readers a warts-and-all picture of the great lexicographer. But every biographer must choose a way of depicting his subject – he might stress the romance, or perhaps the religious side, he might share unflattering stories, or might choose to omit them. When it comes to famous writers such as Dickens or Jane Austen, there are many biographies available. How much can they differ from each other when they tell the same life story, and how can a biographer shape a posthumous portrait of a great author?

Biographers have also had to cope with family and relations, who sometimes tenaciously control a literary estate and an image of ‘their’ author. Which authors have had ferocious ‘keepers of the flame’ ensuring that portraits are flattering, clean of scandal, and sometimes simply untrue. This talk will look at the intriguing ways in which biographers give us written portraits of the men and women whose books we love.

Lecture 6: We are joined by author Freda Marnie Nicholls. Freda lives and works on her husband’s family farm in Gundagai, New South Wales. A writer of Australian biographies, she will talk to us about written portraiture of ordinary Australians who have extraordinary lives. Her current book, Outback Teacher, is set in the remote north-west of Western Australia in the mid 1950s and is about a remarkable primary school teacher, Sally Gare, who started a staging school for aboriginal children. Sally’s story depicts the racial divide at the time and her trials and triumphs when aboriginal education was not compulsory. Freda is currently working on a book about an ASIO spy outed at the Royal Commission into Espionage following the Petrov Affair.

We enjoy a light lunch prepared by the Harden CWA (Country Women’s Association) with local fresh produce. After lunch we depart for a private viewing of the Garangula Art Gallery, an award-winning building located in rural NSW. It houses an important private collection of Aboriginal art and artefacts collected over many years by the owners. The Gallery is a unique building of rammed earth, stone, wood and corten steel. Designed by Fender Katsalidis Mirams Architects (Mona, Hobart), its outstanding design and construction have been recognised with significant awards including the 2014 NSW Architecture Awards for Interior Design, the 2014 Blacket Prize, the ACT 2014 Master Builders Project of the Year, and the 2014 Master Builders National Excellence Award for a Commercial/Industrial Construction. The collection housed in the building features the work of many eminent indigenous artists. The art, along with aboriginal artefacts and traditional crafts, covers most parts of Aboriginal Australia and are beautifully displayed in this specially designed Gallery. Also housed in the Gallery are fine examples of Australian colonial art, paintings by Arthur Streeton, Fred Williams, Russell Drysdale and Sidney Nolan, furniture and other curios. Many of the works and other items have been held in private collections for many years and have not ever been on public display. The Gallery and collection are only occasionally opened to the public so this is a rare opportunity to view this impressive building and significant collection of art, artefacts and furniture.

Tonight we enjoy our dinner at Grazier Restaurant, located in the historic ‘Royal Hotel’ in Gundaroo built in 1865. (Overnight Murrumbateman) BLD

Day 4: Friday 27 May, Murrumbateman – Canberra – Canberra Airport

This morning we check out and drive to Canberra where we view the fabulous exhibition ‘Shakespeare to Winehouse: Icons from the National Portrait Gallery, London’.  The very first portrait ever acquired by the London Gallery, that of William Shakespeare, is just one of the fabulous portraits coming to Australia. This exhibition will show the faces of Darwin and Dickens, the Brontes and royalty, Amy Winehouse and the Beatles, plus many more.

Our farewell lunch will be held at the heritage-listed and rural Tuggeranong Homestead. War historian Dr Charles Bean and his staff occupied the homestead from 1919 to 1925 and there worked on the mammoth task of writing the Official History of Australia’s involvement in WWI.

Lecture 7: We are delighted that acclaimed author, Chris Hammer, a leader in ‘Australian noir’, has kindly agreed to join us for our farewell lunch. For over 30 years Chris was a journalist covering Australian federal politics and international affairs. In Canberra, his roles included chief political correspondent for The Bulletin, current affairs correspondent for SBS’s Dateline, and senior political journalist for The Age. In 2018 he published his debut crime novel, Scrublands, which won the 2019 CWA Dagger New Blood Award for Best Crime Novel and became an instant best-seller. “Set in a fictional Riverina town at the height of a devastating drought, Scrublands is one of the most powerful, compelling and original crime novels to be written in Australia”, is what a critic had to say about it. Its sequels Silver (2019), and Trust (2020) move from ‘bush noir’ to ‘beach noir’ in atmospheric stories which capture the quintessentially Australian coastal lifestyle. Chris’s most recent novel is Treasure and Dirt.

Sadly, all travels must come to an end. We head back to Canberra and its airport, arriving at approximately 4.00pm. Hopefully you will take with you an increased appreciation of the literary and artistic treasures of this country. BL



Accommodation includes rooms with en suite bathroom.

  • Murrumbateman (3 nights): 4-star Abode Murrumbateman  – situated in the heart of Canberra’s cool climate wine country. The Abode offers studio rooms and includes daily continental breakfast. https://abodehotels.com.au

Note: Hotels are subject to change, in which case a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double/twin room for single occupancy throughout the tour. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

How to book

How to Book

Please complete the ASA RESERVATION APPLICATION and send it to Australians Studying Abroad together with your non-refundable deposit of AUD $500.00 per person payable to Australians Studying Abroad.

Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate

Commencing from November 2021 it will be a condition of travel that all group leaders and ASA travellers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. All participants must send ASA a copy of their vaccination certificate at the time of submitting their Reservation Application Form. For information on how to obtain either a Covid-19 digital certificate or a certificate in PDF format please view the Australian Government Services Australia “What types of proof there are” web page.

Practical Information

Practical Information

The number of flags  is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 4-day tour involves:
  • A moderate amount of walking mainly during outdoor site visits.
  • A moderate amount of coach travel
  • You must be able to carry your own hand luggage. Hotel porterage only includes 1 piece of luggage per person

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the Terms and Conditions section given below.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers see: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $2890.00 Land Content Only

AUD $360.00 Single Supplement

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with en suite bathroom at the 4-star Abode Murrumbateman
  • Meals as indicated in the tour itinerary where: B=continental breakfast, L=lunch & D=dinner/light supper
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included.
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach
  • Arrival and Departure airport transfer according to the times as indicated in the tour itinerary
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person (not at airports)
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • A copy of ‘Treasure & Dirt’ (2021) by Chris Hammer, and a copy of ‘Outback Teacher’ (2022) by Freda Marnie Nicholls
  • Entrance fees
  • Use of audio headsets for site excursions
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Return airfare to Canberra
  • Personal spending money
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (44lbs)
  • Travel insurance
Tour Map

Tour Map

Terms & Conditions

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: $500.00**
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**This amount may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply.

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions or services of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products, services, terms and conditions. If a service provider cancels or does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, and does not give a refund, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA.

ASA will not be liable for any claim (e.g. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, border closures, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any tour service provider or authority however caused (contingencies). You must take out such travel insurance as is available against such contingencies.

ASA’s liability in respect of any tour cancelled or changed will be limited to the partial refund of amounts you have paid, less an administration fee of $500 and other costs and charges of third party service providers. No compensation will be payable to you by ASA where ASA cancels or changes a tour, or any part of a tour.

ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate and in the best interests of health, safety and wellbeing of tour participants. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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