An art lover’s last stroll – inside the Great Hall at ANU

‘Paintings are like your children. You think you own them yet they have a life of their own’ Leonard French on his series The Journey finding a home at University House at the Australian National University

The spare and modernist exterior at University House at the Australian National University extends into each and every room. The carefully retained interiors and fittings perfectly imbue the pipe smoking, vest wearing, physics busting period of the fifties.

But if you search a little further than your room and the cafe, be prepared for an art lover’s blow to the head. (Sorry for that brutal image – but I have been here before and at no time did a soul say – by the way you might like to take a look at our Great Hall…)

So (shock delivered), there is in fact a Great Hall which gave the backdrop for a farewell of our darling friend this week. And what a superb place to send off and celebrate the life of a true art lover.

There are stories told by tapestries here of Nobel Prize winners Eccles, Doherty & Zinkernagel, Florey as well as the great achievements by Fenner.

But still nothing appears in the public domain about the extraordinary work by Leonard French. No prints on sale in reception, no postcards. Perhaps like the staid citizens of the nation’s Capital Territory it’s assumed that to not know these works are here could be deemed un-Australian, or maybe it’s best kept as something for the visitor to uncover for themselves.

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