Betty Churcher

This article was previously published in the special edition, ALUMNAE (December 2018).


1932 - 2015

MA 1977


Artist, art critic, television presenter, author, gallery director, and, of course, Courtauldian. Betty Churcher’s commitment to the arts and undeniable talent in bringing them to the masses still lingers in institutions she occupied over her life.


Born in Queensland, Australia, during the Depression, Churcher’s devotion to the arts was often tested by her father’s insistence that she would not be in need of an education past Year 10. Prevailing, though, was her vigour and determination and after obtaining a place to study under Patricia Prentice, and later Caroline Baker, it is evident that it was her life’s natural course to bring new ideas to both art and art history and to challenge the old.

Photograph by Adam Knott, 2008, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, 2013.67


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