Many thanks go to the following resources and researchers for their invaluable contribution to these pages:

  • Gordon Darling Foundation
  • Sarah Johnson, Curator, Manly Art Gallery & Museum
  • Therese Kenyon, Director 1998 - 2010, Manly Art Gallery & Museum
  • Mike Rubbo, grandson of Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo
  • Tom Bass (1916 - 2010), sculptor
  • Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants
  • Carmel Oakley: 'A Neapolitan in Sydney: Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo and his Art, 1870 - 1955'. Thesis, Fine Arts 4, University of Sydney, 1982
  • Jean Campbell: 'Cav. Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo - Painter and teacher and some prominent pupils', exhibition catalogue, Manly Art Gallery & Museum, 5 December 1980 to 18 January 1981
  • Ann Stephen, Andrew McNamara, Philip Goad: 'Modernism & Australia. Documents on Art, Design and Architecture 1917 – 1967'. The Miegunyah Press, Melbourne, 2006
  • Archives of the Manly Art Gallery & Museum
  • Library of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Australian Dictionary of Biography (online edition)
  • McCullochs Encyclopedia of Australian Art, 2006
  • National Portrait Gallery, Canberra: 'Lovers of light', Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo and Evelyn Chapman by Sarah Engledow, pages 9 - 11, Portrait 28, winter 2008 (PDF document)

Links to Museums, Galleries and Art Resources in Australia

Ongoing Legacy

Latest news, comments, updates, press articles and feedback regarding Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo. 


Exhibitions and events 

Art Gallery of New South Wales Exhibition 2011

Eighty Tales from the Vault: Manly Art Gallery and Museum 1930 - 2010, p.49
Published catalogue of Exhibition, detailing Rubbo's work East Esplanade, Manly.

"...East Esplanade, Manly, is a distinctive work of Rubbos' in the MAG&M collection. In 1916 Rubbo and his family moved to Manly, and his passionate interest in the dramatic landscape of the Manly area is clearly demonstrated in this work..."


Eighty Tales from the Vault

Eighty Tales from the Vault: Manly Art Gallery and Museum 1930 - 2010, p.65

Published catalogue of Exhibition, detailing Miriam Moxham's work Portrait of Anotnio Dattilo-Rubbo

"...Rubbo's legacy to Australian art history was the passionate drive for the establishment and long term continuation of the Manly Art Gallery & Museum and his high profile list of alumni...read as a 'who's who' of Australian art history. With irony his profile as an artist in his own right to this day seems to take a secondary seat to the careers of many of his students."


Manly Gallery Talks

The Senior, February 2010, p. 36

 "Manly Art Gallery and Museum Society will host a talk on the origins of the Manly Art Collection, the establishment of the gallery and the key Sydney artists who played a prominent role in its foundation. ..."
"...Gallery staff will speak about Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo.."


The Weekend Australian, 21 – 22 February 2009: Museum and Labyrinth,
Review, p. 18 –19

Art galleries and libraries have had to come to terms with the new order of the internet, writes Christopher Allen.

“…Among smaller institutions the Manly Museum and Art Gallery has set up a site on the painter, teacher and co-founder of the MMAG, Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo, one of several significant European artist-teachers in 20th-century Sydney who deserve to be better known. Dattilo-Rubbo is not important enough as a painter to warrant a full monograph, but the website is a perfect vehicle for assembling reproductions of his work, biographical information and the substantial introductory essay to a 1980-81 survey exhibition. …”

Email, 29 January 2009: Hi,  I am writing as a matter of possible interest to the Manly Art Gallery & Museum that I have recently acquired through a London Auction House a picture by the above artist.

The work is called ' The  Empty Church' oil on canvas board and signed by the artist.  I found the information on your web site regarding this artist most rewarding in making a decision to purchase this picture.  I shall be visiting Sydney during May this year and shall ensure I  call into your  Gallery to view your collection.

Email, 22 January 2009: Hi, my name is Anthony Rubbo. I live in New York. I have just stumbled upon this website and was wondering if Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo had any links to Benevento Italy .. because this is where my parents and grandparents are from. And I am wondering if there is any link to my family? 

Email, 22 January 2009: Hi Anthony, Our family comes from Pontelandolfo near Benevento, many Rubbos there,  and so we might be vaguely related. Cheers, Mike Rubbo.


"Now here's a great idea combining traditional art values and modern information technology. Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo (1870 - 1955), one of Australia's most important art educators and a major Australian artist in his own right, will now receive the greater public acknowledgement he so richly deserves thanks to a new website ..."


"A website has been established to honour one of the founders of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum and a donor of 130 artworks, artist Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo. ..."


"The creation of a website dedicated to the artist who played a significant role in putting Manly on the art world map is apt recognition of one of this area's great philanthropists.... In this age of increasing self-interest, it is right to be reminded that generosity towards our community will be remembered long after our passing."

16 January 2009: Art Gallery of Ballarat acquired another work by Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo in 2008

Kurrajong Heights, 1918, oil on canvas, 38 x 43 cm, signed lower left,  old label verso, purchased with funds from the Ferry Foundation, 2008
The other holdings are: A gardener, circa 1925, crayon, pastel, sight 64.5 x 36.7 cm, and Head of old man, circa 1925, etching, sheet: 23.1 x 14.7 cm

Media release, 13 January 2009: Website launch ensures legendary Australian art teacher and artist to get worldwide exposure at last
Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo (1870 -1955), one of Australia’s most important art educators and a major Australian artist in his own right will now receive the greater public acknowledgement he so richly deserves thanks to a new website detailing the story of his life, his career, his art and displaying previously unknown photographic material.
Mr Dattilo-Rubbo played a vital role in the development of Australian art in the early 20th Century and the establishment of the Manly Art Gallery & Museum which holds 130 of his works.
During his 45 years as a leading art teacher, Dattilo-Rubbo taught and encouraged such renowned Australian artists as Grace Cossington Smith, Roy De Maistre, Frank Hodgkinson, James R Jackson, Alison Rehfisch, Roland Wakelin and many more.
In 1924, he was one of the founding members of the committee for the Manly Art Gallery, the first metropolitan regional art gallery in Australia, and he was the first artist to donate a painting to it.
“Dattilo-Rubbo’s enthusiasm and efforts for the arts are well-known in Manly, where Manly Art Gallery & Museum and his essential contribution to the gallery is acknowledged,” said Manly Art Gallery & Museum Curator Sarah Johnson.
“However Dattilo-Rubbo’s role has been largely forgotten in the wider community. With the creation of a website dedicated entirely to this extraordinary art mentor, this will no longer be the case.
Antonios website contains not only Dattilo-Rubbo’s curriculum vitae and the story of his life dedicated to the arts with previously unknown photographic material, but puts into context Dattilo-Rubbo’s importance as an art teacher.
“In fact, Dattilo-Rubbo felt so passionately about his students, he once challenged C.E.S. Tindall to a duel because Roland Wakelin’s painting had not been accepted for the annual exhibition of the Royal Art Society in 1916,” said Ms Johnson.
Included on the website is an exclusive interview with his last surviving student, sculptor and teacher Tom Bass (born 1916) who professed: “I regard what I learnt from Rubbo as the fundamentals for me. He is my primary teacher. I studied drawing with him, and I am heavily influenced by his teaching principles. This goes to show how Dattilo-Rubbo’s influence has continued on into the new millennium.”
The website also presents Dattilo-Rubbo’s paintings held in the Manly Art Gallery & Museum collection.
His correspondence has been researched for the first time and the contents are now accessible online, offering an insider’s view of the early days of the gallery.
“The letters of Rubbo reveal a dedicated artist and teacher whose passion for the establishment and development of the Manly Art Gallery and art collection was boundless,”  said Ms Johnson.“His eloquent and  beautifully written letters reflect a man whose legacy to Australian Art and particularly the history of the Manly Art Gallery and local community deserve much broader attention and recognition.”
The Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo website project is funded entirely by the Gordon Darling Foundation and has been created by Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants for the Manly Art Gallery & Museum for its 80th anniversary in 2010. 

Co-founder of Banziger Hulme and art commentator David Hulme said:  “We are very proud to be involved in the research and development of this exciting project for MAGAM. We hope that this website will be a valuable ongoing resource for all who are interested in the art and teachings of one of Australia’s most important art mentors”

About Manly Art Gallery & Museum

Manly Art Gallery & Museum was opened in 1930 as the first metropolitan-based regional gallery in New South Wales. It now holds one of the country’s foremost ceramics collections with over 400 pieces, and the art collection holds over 1000 artworks, including Tom Roberts’ ˜The Flower Sellers’, with an emphasis on works on paper. 

About Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants, Manly

Banziger Hulme are independent art consultants and art brokers. They combine a range of art-related services in their internationally operating art business: art brokerage, art valuations, assistance with art exhibitions, art seminars and curated not-for-profit fine art websites. Recent examples are on Australian artist Norman Lloyd and Robert Mitchell as well as a virtual museum for a private contemporary Australian art collection. For more information visit www.bhfineart.com

About the Gordon Darling Foundation, Melbourne

The Gordon Darling Foundation supports visual arts programs undertaken by public institutions in Australia and assists in the dissemination of knowledge and enjoyment of the visual arts to as wide an audience as possible. Consideration is given in particular to innovative projects that might otherwise not receive funding. Further information visit Grant Guru