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As She Appears: The Muse in Art

In partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria, we uncover the many meanings of the muse with curators, writers and performers. They’ll respond to works in the NGV collection – talking representation, inspiration, family and the female body.

The idea of the artistic muse dates back to classical mythology and enjoyed a surprisingly long run as a celebrated, romanticised notion in western art. Today, the notion seems archaic – at least in its traditional sense – yet many artists are still preoccupied with the figure of the muse, even if they’re more concerned with distorting and subverting old ideas of female representation.

What’s the line between inspiration and objectification? And how and when does the muse return or deflect the artist’s gaze? When does the muse reveal herself, and when does she reveal more about her creator?

In this series of after-hours events at the NGV, uncover the many meanings of the muse with curators, writers and performers. They’ll respond to works in the NGV Collection – talking representation, inspiration, family and the female body.

Presented in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria.

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.