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Ron recognised with UC honorary degree

Ron recognised with UC honorary degree

Chris Davis and Kristyn Comino

14 October 2014: Former director of the National Gallery of Australia Ron Radford AM says he was "honoured" to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canberra in recognition of his service to the arts.

During a career that spans more than 40 years, Dr Radford has been responsible for the acquisition of around 47,000 works of art and has staged over 500 exhibitions.

Ron Radford

Former director of National Gallery of Australian Dr Ron Radford was awarded an honorary doctorate. Photo: Michelle McAulay

In his 10 years as director of the National Gallery of Australia, of which he retired earlier this month, Dr Radford oversaw Australia's most popular art exhibition ever by bringing famous modern artworks from Paris to Canberra. 

"Canberra is an exemplary centre for education, particularly for students of arts and design due to the wonderful resources we have in Canberra, including our national collecting institutions," Dr Radford said.

"Australia is a country with a strong arts culture—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous—but Australians and therefore the world is as yet not fully aware of it," he said. "I hope to inspire graduates to continue to work in the arts field and to think creatively."

Dr Radford retired on 29 October as director of the National Gallery of Australia, with his achievements in the role including hosting their most popular exhibition: Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and beyond in 2011.

During his time as director, Dr Radford's other achievements include the expansion of the Australian and Asian art collections, overseeing the construction of a Stage 1 with consisted of a new entrance and new facilities for the Gallery  and an entire new wing with 12 galleries devoted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

Dr Radford has previously held the position of director at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. He has also served on numerous boards both nationally and internationally, including as a foundation member and deputy chair of the National Portrait Gallery, and the International Gallery Directors meeting known as the 'Bizot Group'. He was appointed Australian Commissioner for the 1999 Venice Biennale.

Dr Radford has also received many awards, including becoming a Member of the Order of Australia in 2002 and being awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001. He was recognised internationally for his contributions to the arts with a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government in 2009. He was presented with a Laureate Medal in 2012 for a lifetime of service to Australian art by the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council. He also holds honorary doctorates from two other universities.

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