Michael Shannon was born near Kapunda, South Australia, in 1927 and after schooling in Adelaide, enrolled at the National Gallery School in Melbourne in 1945 (under William Dargie) – also studying part time with George Bell. Overseas travel took him to London, Paris (studies under Leger) and Florence.

Apart from a spell in Sydney (1960-62) Shannon lived and worked in Melbourne for the rest of his life, exhibiting regularly in Sydney and Melbourne as well as in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. His characteristic vision of the city – usually a roof top or birds eye view of streets, houses and factories earned him a wide following.

The late 1970s saw a change in focus. In 1980 he bought a small house near Heathcote (north of Melbourne). His interest in landscape had grown following a visit to David Chapman in Tasmania in 1974 (he exhibited small studies at Macquarie in 1979) and in the 1980s the landscape became the central concern of his work. It is a landscape he clearly fell in love with – from the rock faces of the quarry paintings through the more intimate glimpses of hill sides with trees and bush tracks, to the large canvasses of spacious hills stretching to distant horizons.

A long battle with Parkinson’s disease preceded the artist’s death in 1993.


1952-57                 Peter Bray Gallery, Melbourne
1956-88                 Macquarie Galleries, Sydney
1959-77                 Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1961-71                 South Yarra Galleries,  Melbourne
1966                      Gallery A, Melbourne
1969-71                 Johnstone Gallery, Brisbane
1962-65                 Bonython Gallery, Adelaide
1972-87                 Powell Street Gallery,  Melbourne
1986                      Survey, RMIT &  travelling to TMAG,
                              La Trobe Regional Art Gallery and 
                              Art Gallery of New  South Wales
1993                      Rex Irwin Gallery, Sydney
1997                     Charles Nodrum Gallery,  Melbourne


1953 & 1955          Crouch Prize, Ballarat
1954                     Minnie Crouch Watercolour Prize, Ballarat
1966                     Australian Wine & Brandy Producers Prize
1968                     The John McCaughey Memorial Prize,National Gallery of Victoria
1970                     Muswellbrook Art Prize
1979                     Awarded Member of the Order of Australia
1982                     Trustees’ Purchase Prize, Queensland Art Gallery


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
All National and State Galleries in Australia
Alice Springs Art Gallery
Newcastle Regional Art Gallery
Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
Bendigo Art Gallery
Burnie Art Gallery
La Trobe Regional Art Gallery
Orange Art Gallery, NSW
Dalby Art Gallery, QLD
Fremantle Arts Centre, WA
Monash University Museum of Art
University of Melbourne Collections
University of Western Australia
The City of Heidelberg, Melbourne
Churchlands College of Advanced Education
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
State Library of Victoria
Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
National Australia Bank
Westin Melbourne
CRA Limited Australia
Alcoa Australia
BHP Billiton Australia
First National Bank, Boston, USA
Australian Embassy, Washington DC
(formerly) Harold E. Mertz Collection, University of Texas
CBFC Collection, Sydney
State Bank of NSW, Sydney
Mallesons Melbourne
Corporate and Private Collection in Australia and overseas


Kim  Bonython. Modern Australian Painting, all editions
The  Australian Painters 1964-66: Paintings from the Mertz Collection, 
exhibition catalogue, Corcoran  Gallery, Washington DC
Alan  McCulloch, Encyclopedia of Australian Art, all editions
Nancy  Benko, Art & Artists of South Australia, Adelaide, 1969
Elwyn  Lynn, Michael Shannon, South Yarra Galleries, 1970
Carl  Andrew, “Michael Shannon”, Art & Australia, vol 12, no 4, 1974
Mervyn  Horton (ed). Australian Painters of the 1970s, Sydney, 1975
Elwyn  Lynn, Australian Landscape and its Artists, Sydney, 1977
Mary Eagle  & Jan Minchin, The George Bell School, Sydney, 1981
Gary  Catalano, The Years of Hope, Melbourne, 1981


Carnegie International, Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg, 1982
The Dam Exhibition, Melbourne, 1985
Graeme Sturgeon, “Michael Shannon”, Art & Australia, vol 24, no 2, 1986
Graeme Sturgeon, The Painter’s Vision, Sydney, 1987
Graeme Sturgeon, Michael Shannon – Painting & Poetry of Daily Life, Sydney, 1990






About Michael Shannon

Artworks by Michael Shannon

Reviews of Michael Shannon