The Tom and Karin Smyth Collection featuring works by Mirka Mora, Joy Hester, John Olsen and many others is being auctioned on Sunday May 16th at 5:00pm AEST

by Lee Steer, Apr 12, 2021

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.