The Heide Circle is synonymous with the modernist art movement in Australia and, without John and Sunday Reed, there would be no Heide Circle. The married pair, both from establishment families, purchased a dairy farm in Bulleen in 1934 that became the centre for the Australian mid-century avant-garde – and home to several of the giants of Australian modernism including Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan and Joy Hester.
The property, which today houses the celebrated Heide Museum of Modern Art, was not just a place of artistic expression but also of radical political thinking and sexual experimentation. The complex romantic entanglements of the Heide Circle in the 1940s are legendary.
A new book on John and Sunday Reed, Modern Love, re-examines the legacy of these two towering figures in Australian modernism. Join its authors, Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan – both curators at Heide Museum of Modern Art – as they share their new insights on the loves and lives of this highly unorthodox Australian couple. Hosted by Georgia Moodie.
Georgia Moodie is a reporter and producer on Books and Arts, ABC Radio National.
Kendrah Morgan has been a curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne since 2003. Her previous position was Assistant Curator, New Zealand and International Art, at Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand, from 1998–2002. Before then she worked in the commercial gallery sector and lectured in art history, with a focus on Italian Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture.
She has co-authored two books about Heide history: Sunday’s Kitchen: Food and Living at Heide (2010) and Sunday’s Garden: Growing Heide (2012), both published by Melbourne University Publishing in partnership with Heide Museum of Modern Art and the State Library of Victoria.
Lesley Harding joined Heide Museum of Modern Art as curator in 2005. She has held curatorial positions at the Arts Centre, Melbourne and National Art School, Sydney, and regularly publishes and lectures on modernist and contemporary Australian art. Her work has appeared in Art and Australia, Art Monthly Australia, Artlink and Meanjin, and in 2009 she co-authored Cubism & Australian Art with Sue Cramer, for the Miegunyah Press imprint of Melbourne University Publishing.
Lesley has co-authored two books about Heide history: Sunday’s Kitchen: Food and Living at Heide (2010) and Sunday’s Garden: Growing Heide (2012), both published by Melbourne University Publishing in partnership with Heide Museum of Modern Art and the State Library of Victoria.