Gavin Fry | CHG Represented Artist

"Gavin Fry's style is expressionist incorporating vertical light planes and angles somewhat rendering a cubist influence with a 1970’s aura." Mark Widdup.


Gavin Fry is a writer, artist and publisher, working in Newcastle, New South Wales. After a long career in museums and galleries, in retirement he has returned to painting after three decades away from the easel. His work is currently being exhibited at Cooks Hill Gallery in Newcastle, as well as exhibitions nationally.

As a writer Gavin has published more than twenty books on Australian art and history and has of recent times begun to publish books on behalf of other writers and artists.


Gavin Fry is known to many of us as a past curator of the Newcastle Museum, especially the project of overseeing the move from the old Museum site to its present location at Honeysuckle, Newcastle! He is acknowledged as working in Australian art and museums over the decades.

Additionally he is an arts writer, publisher, curator and more recently an active artist. Gavin has said to me “it is a passion he has supressed for years, it’s quite a mental adjustment being on the other side of the arts”. Some 30 years has passed since his return to the role of artist!

Gavin's recent body of work has been directed to Newcastle icons. Gavin’s style is expressionist incorporating vertical light planes and angles somewhat rendering a cubist influence with a 1970’s aura.


2016 Finalist 2016 Maritime Art Prize, Melbourne
2016 Finalist Gippsland Art Gallery John Leslie Art Prize
2016 Finalist R&M McGivern Prize finalist, Victoria


Exhibition Catalogues, CDs, etc:

[Essay] The Sentient Landscape: The Art of Peter Indans, Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhampton, 2011
[Essay] Adrian Lawlor, The Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, 2011
In Times Like These: Self-Portraits of Rick Amor, Newcastle Art Gallery, 2010
[Essay] Parallel Visions, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2002
George Gittoes on CD, Lorimer Fry & Associates, Sydney, 1996
Coastal Environment Centre, Pittwater Council - Lorimer Fry, 1998
Home Thoughts From Abroad, Fairfield Heritage Centre, Sydney 1998
Ivor Hele: The Heroic Figure, Wilkins, Fry et al, AWM, Canberra, 1997
Fry G & Bond, A Fred Cress, AGNSW/ Beagle Press 1995
Fry G & Burke, D, Paint on the Tracks, National Trust of Australia, 1994
Fry, G., Merric Boyd, The Late Drawings, Lanyon, ACT, 1985
Fry, G., Adrian Lawlor, A Portrait, Heide, Melbourne, 1983
Nolan's Gallipoli Nolan Gallery, Lanyon, 1983
Sali Herman: Official War Artist, Australian War Memorial, 1981


After teaching in Victorian High Schools for six years, in 1974 he transferred to the State College of Victoria as a lecturer in art and photography. In 1980 Gavin was appointed Senior Curator of Art at the Australian War Memorial, followed in 1987 by an appointment as Deputy Director of the then-new Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. After a period working as a senior executive in the Commonwealth public service, he became Director of Newcastle Museum in 1999, the position from which he retired in 2011.


Gavin Fry trained as an art teacher in Melbourne in the 1960s, studying painting at RMIT and Caulfield Technical colleges.

1986-88 Master of Philosophy, Museum Studies,
University of Leicester
Thesis : Recent British Museum Architecture
[Commonwealth PSB Post Graduate Study Award]

1979-80 Master of Arts , Visual Arts, Monash University
Thesis: Adrian Lawlor, A life and Work,
Supervisor: Prof. Patrick McCaughey
Published as Adrian Lawlor: A Portrait,
Heide, Melbourne, 1983

1974-78 Bachelor of Arts [Hons] Monash University
Passed Honours IIA, Major in Visual Arts,
Minors: Ancient History, Renaissance History
Honours Thesis: 'Horizons' and the Design Theory of Norman Bel Geddes

1965-67 Trained Secondary Teachers Certificate [Art & Craft]
Melbourne Teachers College


Gavin has written twenty books and major catalogues on Australian artists, as well as a large number of articles and dictionary entries.

Books & Monographs:
G. Fry, Artwork, Art, Books, Museum & Life, Edmund & Alexander, Newcastle, 2015
G. Fry, Pro Hart, Life & Legacy, Pro Hart Art Sales, Broken Hill, 2014
G.Fry, John Howley, Edmund & Alexander, Newcastle 2013
G.Fry, The Peter Elliott Collection, The Beagle Press, Sydney 2013
G.Fry, The Nic Jools Collection, Knox Grammar School / The Beagle Press, Sydney 2011
G. Fry et al, Private View: The Art Collection of the Australian Club, Beagle Press, Sydney 2010
G.Fry Robert Juniper, The Beagle Press, Sydney, 2009
G.Fry, Rick Amor, The Beagle Press, Sydney, March 2008 [reprinted 2010]
G.Fry, Albert Tucker, The Beagle Press, Sydney, 2006 [reprinted 2010]
G.Fry, Margaret Woodward, The Beagle Press, Sydney, 2002 [reprinted 2003, 2009]
G.Fry, Fred Cress, The Beagle Press, Sydney, 2001
G.Fry & Ken Johnson, Life & Landscape, Craftsman House, St Leonards, 2000
G. Fry, Golden Holden : 50 Years of an Australian Icon, FRHC, Sydney, 1998
G.Fry, George Gittoes, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1998
G.Fry, William Boissevain, The Beagle Press, Sydney 1998 [reprinted 2006]
G. Fry, C.Dudley Wood, Beagle Press, Sydney 1996
G.Fry & Mahoney, B Isaac Walter Jenner, Beagle Press, Sydney 1994
G.Fry, Rwanda, Directorate of Army Public Affairs , Canberra, 1996
G.Fry, Ivor Hele, The Soldiers' Artist, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1984
G.Fry, Nolan's Gallipoli, Rigby, Adelaide, 1983
G.Fry & C.Fry., Donald Friend, Australian War Artist 1945, Currie O'Neil, Melbourne, 1982
Gavin Fry – Curriculum Vitae

Essays in Published Collections:
Catalogue essays for Australian Art Auction houses, including Deutscher and Hackett, Menzies Art Brands and Mossgreen.
Wilbow 25. The Wilbow Group, Melbourne 2013 [Albert Tucker, Michael Shannon]
G.Fry & A.Gray, Masterpieces of the Australian War Memorial, Rigby, Adelaide, 1982
Australian Painters of the Twentieth Century, The Beagle Press, Sydney 2000 [Albert Tucker]
Artists in Action: from the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Canberra 2003, [Eric Thake, Ivor Hele}
Editor, Publisher and/ or Contributor
G.Fry & M.McDonald [Eds.] Army Annual , Directorate of Army Public Affairs, Canberra, 1996 - 2002
G.Fry Global Competencies Showcase, National Training Board, 1995
Murray Griffin, [G.Fry Introduction and Publisher], Changi, Edmund & Alexander, Sydney, 1992
Mary Ann Parker, [G. Fry : Introduction and Editor] A Voyage Around the World in the Gorgon Man of War, London, 1791, Hordern
House/ ANMM. 1991

Journal and Dictionary articles:
Fred Cress, International Artist, Sydney, May 1998
Ivor Hele & George Gittoes, Australian Artist, Sydney, Dec. 1997
Pamela Griffith, Craft Arts International, Sydney, Nov. 1997
Paint on the Tracks, Look!, Art Gallery of NSW Society, April 1994
Maritime Collections, Treasures of the National Trust, 1992
Sidney Nolan Australia 1788-1988 / Australians: An Historical Dictionary,
Portraits and self-portraits of Adrian Lawlor, Art & Australia, Vol. 21, No.2, 1983
The Nolan Gallery, Lanyon, Art & Australia, Vol.21, No.3, 1984
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol.10, Adrian Lawlor
The Dictionary of Art, MacMillan, London, [Donald Friend]
The Car as Art, Arts Melbourne, No.5, 1978
Journal of the Australian War Memorial [6 Articles]
Adrian Lawlor, NGV Society Bulletin, August 1983
A Singular Man of Surreal Vision, The Age, Melbourne, 12.11.1982