“The Australian Landscape” was a national touring exhibition organised by the Australian Gallery Directors’ Council in 1972. The organising gallery was the Art Gallery of South Australia, and the curators were Daniel Thomas (Art Gallery of New South Wales) Ian North (Art Gallery of South Australia) and Frances McCarthy [later Lindsay] (National Gallery of Victoria). Generous funding from the Peter Stuyvesant foundation enabled the curators to travel the country together in order to make considered judgements.
The exhibition opened at the Art Gallery of South Australia on 3 March 1972, and toured to the Western Australian Art Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Australian National Gallery (temporary premises), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Newcastle City Art Gallery, and the Queensland Art Gallery.
The catalogue introduction claims that the exhibition comprised of 'fifty-five of the best Australian landscapes ever executed’. It was characterised by a breadth of vision, with works from every state – including regional galleries and private collections. It is distinguished by having a greater emphasis on colonial works than previous exhibitions, and elevating the reputation of Eugene Von Guerard and John Glover.
There were only two works by women – Grace Cossington Smith and Margaret Preston– and none by any Aboriginal artist.