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Australian painters and sculptors looked towards Britain and, to a lesser extent, France for inspiration and approval. Several leading artists based themselves in these art centres, where they were part of a vibrant expatriate community. Most kept close ties to the Australian art world, mounting exhibitions in their home cities, returning for visits and seeking official Australian Government commissions.

There were many avenues to exhibit works of art in Australia. It was the heyday of art, and arts and crafts, societies in Australia, whose annual exhibitions provided opportunities to show work at a time when there were few commercial galleries. These salons were also eagerly anticipated social events.

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