VANGUARDIST OR VAMPIRE? Rethinking Cynthia Reed Nolan's contribution to Australian culture

For too many years Cynthia Reed Nolan (1909-1976) was barely mentioned in accounts of Australian modernism. Mostly identified as the sister of John Reed and sister-in-law of Sunday Reed, she is actually a significant conduit of modernist culture and avant garde ideas into Australia in her own right. Her relationship to her more famous kin was complex, running the gamut from near symbiosis to longstanding alienation. She was an intrinsic part of Heide, but later did not communicate with John or Sunday for three decades. Towards the end of his life, John notably affirmed Cynthia's role in the Heide cosmology as “Sunday's best friend”.

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