Bernard Smith, who died on 2 September, was in a very real sense the first enabler of Design & Art of Australia Online, but his greatest contribution was to establish the scholarly field of Australian art history, as evidenced by European Vision and the South Pacific, 1768-1850: a study in the history of art and ideas (1960).

After his early theoretical history of Australian art, Place, Taste and Tradition (1945), he became the author of the first scholarly catalogue of oil paintings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1953). This provided the biographical data to enable the fresh insights of his classic, Australian Painting 1788-1960 (1962). In the 1970s an invitation to contribute Australian content to a new edition of Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, evolved into the project to create a dedicated ‘dictionary’ of Australian art.

Obituaries have already been published in the Sydney Morning Herald,  The Age, and  The Australian. He  will also be honoured by The University of Sydney (where he was the foundation Power Professor), the University of Melbourne (where he was based in his later years). The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand  will dedicate its next annual conference in Victoria University, Wellington to his memory, in what the president, Dr Ann Stephen, has described as ‘a trans-Tasman tribute to the preeminent art historian of European Vision in the South Pacific‘.