Boyd, Arthur (1920–1999) By McKenzie, Janet
Arthur Boyd is widely recognized as one of Australia’s greatest artists. He was born in Melbourne to Merric and Doris (née Gough) Boyd, into a family that was unusually creative and unconventionally religious. Their home at Murrumbeena became a meeting place for artists and intellectuals during the war years. Arthur Boyd began his artistic career with a considerable knowledge of art, buoyed by the previous generation’s enthusiasm for European cultural life and ideas. Although associated with artists surrounding Angry Penguins magazine, Boyd did not take part in contemporary debate over the role of art in society. Arthur Boyd’s work is beautiful yet haunting; grotesque yet disturbing; historical and contemporary. He maintained dialogue with great masters of European art, and yet remained a visionary of the future.