Tom and Karin Smyth began collecting in Melbourne in the early 1960s and, over the next 20 years, built the collection on view today. Sourced from a wide range of galleries including Tolarno, Australian,Strines, Powell Street, South Yarra, Realities and Rudy Komon, their tastes were wide and idiosyncratic – ranging from the painterly expressionism of the 50s and 60s towards colourfield and photorealism in the 70s.
They developed a close, longstanding and vibrant relationship with Mirka Mora that was both personal and professional: whilst there were numerous lunches and dinners, Tom also commissioned a huge mural for his (medical) rooms – The Vermont Bestiary, since donated to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation. A warm friendship also grew with Ron Upton whose work they collected in some depth, particularly his large-scale outdoor sculptures.
In short, Tom and Karin made a collection that was very personal and unusually adventurous – and which gave them and their family great enjoyment over many decades.