Roger Butler

Roger Butler AM is an authority on the history of Australian prints, posters and illustrated books. His career spans more than forty years and from 1981 to 2020 he headed the Department of Australian Prints at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Roger specialises in the history of Australian prints and printmaking ranging from pre-European settlement to the present. He also has a special interest in prints by Australian Indigenous artists and those from Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.

He has written and curated exhibitions that have addressed diverse subjects from colonial art to the present. He has focused on numerous artist printmakers, including colonial artists John Lewin and Augustus Earle, modernist printmakers Margaret Preston, Thea Proctor and Jessie Traill, and from recent times, political posters groups such as Earthworks Poster Collective and Redback Graphics and artists such as Bea Maddock and Mike Parr.

Roger is committed to providing access to collections and sharing information on prints and printmaking within the context of Australian art in general. In 1999 he established the website prints and printmaking, an access initiative of the Gordon Darling Australia Pacific Print Fund.

His most recent publication is Printed: images by Australian artists 1942–2020. The third volume of his acclaimed series on the history of Australian prints and printmaking.

Publication Highlights

Printed: Images by Australian artists 1942-2020
Mike Parr: Language and chaos
Stars in the river: The prints of Jessie Traill
Printed images by Australian artists 1885-1955
Printed images in Colonial Australia 1801-1901
Printed images by Australian artists 1885-1955

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Printed Volume 3 Launched

The National Gallery of Australia has released the third and final volume in curator Roger Butler’s acclaimed series on the history of Australian prints and printmaking, Printed: Images by Australian Artists 1942-2020.

More information about the publication is available here.

Roger Butler and Nick Mitzevich

It was announced today that Roger Butler will become the first Emeritus Curator of the National Gallery of Australia. Roger Butler is pictured with Director Nick Mitzevich.

Roger Butler and Marilyn Darling

Roger Butler and Marilyn Darling, Gordon Darling Print Fund meeting, June 2020. This was the last meeting of the Fund for Roger who steps down from his position as Senior Curator of Australian Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Australia at the end of June.