Guide to the Papers of Sasha Grishin


MS 9091

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Sasha Grishin
Papers of Sasha Grishin
Date Range
1972 - 2009
Collection Number
MS 9091
4.05 metres (1 Map-Folio in ziplock bag + 1 Oversize Folio Packet + 11 MS Boxes)
Language of Materials
Special Collections (Manuscripts)


Scope and Contents

MS 9091 comprises papers relating to Sasha Grishin's writing on art and his association with artists. They include correspondence with artists, first drafts of exhibition critiques, copies of critiques published in The Canberra times, and drafts of his books, including Vadim Sidur: a study in modern Soviet sculpture, The art of John Brack, Leonard French, John Wolseley: land marks, and, Andrew Sibley: art on the fringe of being. There are also papers relating to membership of the Board of Management of Studio One, the ANU Drill Hall Gallery and the ANU Art Collection Fiftieth Anniversary Touring Exhibition. The major correspondents include Phyllis Boyd, John Brack, Bruno Leti, Leonard French, Andrew Sibley, members of the ANU Drill Hall Gallery Committee, officials and staff of the Australian National University, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Queensland and Nevill Drury of Craftsman House (11 boxes, 2 fol. packets).

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Sasha Grishin, National Library of Australia, [class/series/file number]'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the Library in 1995 and 1999 under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts scheme.

Biographical / Historical

Art historian, academic and critic. Grishin established the Fine Arts Program at the Australian National University in 1977, which became the Department of Art History in 1987. He has written several major books on Australian artists, including The art of John Brack, 1990, Leonard French, 1995, Andrew Sibley: art on the fringe of being, 1993, Contemporary Australian print making, 1994, and Australian printmaking in the 1990s, 1997,and contributes to art journals and magazines. Grishin has been the Canberra Times art critic since 1977

Item Descriptions

Class MS 9091. Original consignment

Series 1. Correspondence, 1977-94

The correspondence with artists deals mainly with arrangements for exhibitions at Melville Hall, Australian National University. Included are drafts of texts of exhibition catalogues, articles by Grishin and newspaper cuttings. Artists include Phyllis Boyd, John Brack, George Gittoes, Marc Clark, Ian Henderson, Justin O'Brien, Robin Wallace-Crabbe, Fred Williams, Peter Herel, Les Kossatz, Bruno Leti and Wendy Stavrianos.

Correspondence with and relating to the Boyds, 1982-94 (File 1) - Box 1
Correspondence with and relating to John Brack, 1977-91 (File 2) - Box 1
Letters from Marc Clark, 1991-92 (File 3) - Box 1
Biographical information on and letters from George Gittoes, 1991-94 (File 4) - Box 1
Correspondence with Bruno Leti, 1994 (File 5) - Box 1
Letter from and information on Ian Henderson, 1991 (File 6) - Box 1
Letter from and information on Peter Herel, 1992 (File 7) - Box 1
Correspondence with Les Kossatz, 1994 (File 8) - Box 2
Letter from Justin O'Brien, 1984 (File 9) - Box 2

Correspondence with Jeff Scully, 1987

Letter from Wendy Stavrianos, 1994 (File 10) - Box 2
Articles and information on Robin Wallace-Crabbe (File 11) - Box 2
Correspondence with and relating to Fred Williams, 1978-81 (File 12) - Box 2

Series 2. Studio One, 1985-95

Grishin became a member of the Board of Management of Studio One Printmaking Workshop in 1985.

Papers relating to Board meetings include correspondence, agenda, discussion papers for meetings, minutes, newsletters and grant applications. The correspondents include Peter Naumann, Chair of the Board.

Studio One, 1985-88 (File 1) - Box 2
Studio One, 1989 (File 2) - Box 2
Studio One, 1989-90 (File 3-4) - Box 2, 3
Studio One, 1990-91 (File 5) - Box 3
Studio One, 1992 (File 6-7) - Box 3
Studio One, 1993 (File 8) - Box 3
Studio One, 1994 (File 9) - Box 3
Studio One, 1995 (File 10) - Box 3

Series 3. Vadim Sidur: a study in modern Soviet sculpture

The sculptor Vadim Sidur was born in the Ukraine in 1924 and studied after the War at the Stroganov State Academy of Art in Moscow. One of the most important artists working in the Soviet Union, Sidur used the theme of suffering humanity in his work.

When Grishin studied Art and Russian Literature in Moscow, he visited Sidur's studio over a period of three years, collecting material for his book.

The author has written that Vadim Sidur, published in 1972,is the first book to be produced on Russian underground art.

Papers include typescript drafts, mock-ups, original cover art work, and a copy of the published text. This is the Library's only holding of Vadim Sidur.

Vadim Sidur: a study in modern Soviet sculpture (File 1-2) - Box 4
Publication Proofs (File) - Folio unnumbered (MS 9091)

Series 4. The art of John Brack

Grishin's monograph on the Melbourne painter John Brack was published by Oxford University Press, Melbourne, in 1990. The series comprises a typescript early draft before sections were edited as 'too sensitive'.

The art of John Brack, pp. 1-99 (File 1) - Box 4
The art of John Brack, pp. 100-199 (File 2) - Box 4
The art of John Brack. Catalogue, pp. 1-70 (File 3) - Box 4
The art of John Brack, pp. 200-230. Catalogue, pp.71-159 (File 4) - Box 4

Series 5. Exhibition critiques, first drafts, 1977-90

First drafts of exhibition critiques, some unpublished, and others published in 'severely edited form'. The critiques are undated.

Exhibition critiques, first drafts (File 1-9) - Box 4, 5

Series 6. Exhibition critiques, published, 1977-90

Photocopies of newspaper cuttings of art exhibition critiques, written for the Canberra Times.

Reviews, Canberra Times, 1977 (File 1) - Box 5
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1978 (File 2) - Box 5
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1979 (File 3) - Box 6
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1980 (File 4) - Box 6
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1981 (File 5) - Box 6
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1982 (File 6) - Box 6
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1983 (File 7) - Box 6
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1984-85 (File 8) - Box 6
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1986-87 (File 9) - Box 6
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1988-89 (File 10) - Box 6
Reviews, Canberra Times, 1990 (File 11) - Box 6

Class MS 9091. Consignment received 22nd February 1999

Series 7. ANU Drill Hall Gallery, 1995-97

Operational records of the Gallery assembled by Grishin as a member of the management committee since its foundation. The series includes policy documents, proposals for exhibitions, papers re staffing matters and minutes of meetings. The correspondents include Larry Saha, Nancy Sever and Philip Selth.

Meeting papers, policy documents, exhibition proposals and related correspondence, 1997 (File 1) - Box 7
Applications for the post of Curator, ANU Art Collection, 1996 (File 2) - Box 7
Meeting papers, exhibition proposals, correspondence, 1995-96 (File 3) - Box 7
Meeting papers, 1995 annual report, policy documents, correspondence relating to exhibition proposals, 1995-97 (File 4) - Box 7

Series 8. The Australian National University Collection: selected works, 1971-98

This series consists of administrative papers assembled by Grishin as co-editor and main author of the art collection catalogue which was published in 1999. It includes annotated pre-publication drafts, progress reports, research notes and correpsondence re the content of the catalogue. Correspondents include R. Wilson, Ross Hohnen, Myra McInture, Norma Redpath and Pauline Griffin (Pro-Chancellor).

Notes and correspondence with Ross Hohnen and others, 1971-97 (File 1) - Box 7
Correspondence, 1995-98, A report on the possible incorporation of artworks and artefacts, 1994 (File 2) - Box 7
Correspondence, 1997-98 (File 3) - Box 8
Drafts of catalogue Introduction with handwritten annotations (File 4) - Box 8
ANU Art collection catalogue files (File 5) - Box 8
Notes on Graham King, Inge King, Frank Hinder and William Frater (File 6) - Box 8

Series 9. ANU Art Collection: Fiftieth Anniversary Touring Exhibition, 1995-96

This series consists of administrative papers relating to the exhibition held in 1996- 97 to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Australian National University. It includes correspondence on the touring collection and some draft material for inclusion in the exhibition catalogue.

ANU Art Collection: Fiftieth Anniversary Touring Exhibition (File 1) - Box 8

Series 10. Leonard French, 1995-96

Includes papers assembled by Grishin while writing the book which was published by Craftsman House in 1995. The series includes correspondence, research papers, photographs of French's work, photocopies of exhibition catalogues, proof copies including an earlier annotated draft, and an essay by Grishin on the French's work Autumn in the Garden intended for publication by the Queesland Art Gallery.

Correspondents include Leonard French, Lynne Seear, Larry Saha and Nevill Drury.

Proof copies and related correspondence, 1995, and colour photos of French's work (File 1) - Box 8
Orient Line exhibition catalogue (photocopy) (File 2) - Box 8
Typescript of essay 'Leonard French, Autumn in the Garden, 1960', photos and related correspondence, 1996 (File 3) - Box 9
Articles on French (photocopies) (File 4) - Box 9
Solo exhibitions catalogues (File 5) - Box 9
Galley proof of Leonard French (File 6) - Box 9

Series 11. John Wolseley: land marks

This book by Grishin was published in 1998 by Craftsman House. The series includes correspondence about the book, handwritten notes, a typescript draft and an annotated draft with handwritten comments by John Wolselely.

Correspondence, 1997-98, draft of article on Wolseley (File 1) - Box 9
Introduction (File 2) - Box 9
Part I, and U.K. prior to 1976 (File 3) - Box 9
Gippsland: Part II (File 4) - Box 9
A new oneness: Part III (File 5) - Box 10
Collaborations with nature: Part VI (File 6) - Box 10
Microcosm: Part VII (File 7) - Box 10
Journey pictures (File 8) - Box 10
Kimberleys-Sand: conversation between John Wolseley and Rod Moss (File 9) - Box 10
Environmental warrior (File 10) - Box 10
Annotated draft with handwritten comments by Wolseley (File 11-13) - Box 10, 11
Draft copy (File 14) - Box 11

Series 12. Andrew Sibley: Art on the fringe of being, 1967-93

This series includes papers assembled during the writing of the book which was published by Craftsman House in 1993. There is an unannotated draft, lists of works by the artist, colour proofs of the plates and some correspondence with Andrew Sibley including a letter from Judith Wright.

Sibley portraits, letter from Judith Wright, 1967 (File 1) - Box 11
Draft copy (File 2) - Box 11
Typescript (File 3) - Box 11
36 colour proofs (File 4) - Map-Folio [unnumbered]

Hyatt Wing map cabinet drawer no. 19