Claire Roberts is an art historian and curator with an interest in modern and contemporary Chinese art, and the cultural flows between Australia and Asia. She is Associate Professor of Art History in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Her current research explores the international context of modern and contemporary Chinese art. Claire's curated exhibitions include 'Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue' at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2019) and 'Other Histories: Guan Wei's Fable for a Contemporary World' at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (2006). Her most recent books are Fairweather and China (2021), Ian Fairweather: A Life in Letters, edited with John Thompson (2019), Photography and China (2013) and Friendship in Art: Fou Lei and Huang Binhong (2010).
Dr Philip Bacon AM is an art dealer and philanthropist well-known for his contribution to the arts in Australia.
After working briefly in finance, Dr Bacon began a career in the arts in the late 1960s as a mentee of Keith Moore, the owner of Brisbane’s Grand Central Gallery. In 1974, Dr Bacon opened his own commercial gallery in Brisbane, hoping to support upcoming Australian artists and offer them a platform for promotion. In the more than 45 years since its opening, Philip Bacon Galleries has become a mainstay of the arts community, and Dr Bacon’s trusted judgement continues to be sought by artists and collectors alike.
In 1999, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the visual and performing arts. The same year, he received a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa from UQ.
Dr Bacon is also recognised for his dedication to the betterment of the arts in Australia through philanthropy. He has made significant gifts and contributed pieces from his own collection to Australia’s art galleries. In 2019 he was named Australia’s Leading Philanthropist in the Australian Philanthropy Awards. He has also served on the boards of several organisations including Opera Australia and the National Art Gallery.