Arnold Shore never travelled further than Sydney from his native Melbourne, but he had an enduring influence on those Melbourne artists who looked towards modern Europe for inspiration. He was born 5 May 1897, the youngest of seven children of a Windsor coachsmith, and on leaving Prahran West State School he was apprenticed to Brooks, Robinson & Co. Ltd where he designed and made stained glass for over 20 years. He also worked as a freelance illustrator. One of his fellow employees at Brooks, Robinson & Co was William Frater, who was also interested in art. The two became close friends. He attended evening classes with Frederick McCubbin at the National Gallery School, but in 1917 he joined many of his fellow students in switching to the new Max Meldrum school. After Meldrum’s school closed in 1923, Shore began to exhibit with the group, Twenty Melbourne Painters. His work began to show the influence of European Post-Impressionism, which was a minority taste in Melbourne at the time. In August 1929 he held a solo exhibition at the Athenaeum Gallery, in what was probably the first exhibition of modernist art in Melbourne. As he never travelled outside Australia, his knowledge came from reproductions in books and magazines which he read in the public library.
In 1932 Shore joined with George Bell to start the Bell-Shore School on the corner of Queen and Bourke Streets. The partnership ended in 1936. In 1937 he held his second solo exhibition at Macquarie Galleries in Sydney, which received significant critical and commercial success. After his mother died in 1938, he sold the family home in Windsor and moved to rural Mount Macedon which became the subject of some of his most lyrically beautiful landscapes. Eight years later, in 1947 he moved to Sydney, but the following year he returned to Melbourne where he was employed as Guide Lecturer, introducing visitors to the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. He married Agnes Vivien Scott in 1950 and they moved to Hawthorn.
He also began to write art criticism for The Argus, and after that paper closed in 1958, he was appointed art critic to The Age and left the National Gallery of Victoria so that he could concentrate on his painting. He died at home in Hawthorne on 22 May 1963.

Kerr, Joan
Joanna Mendelssohn
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