Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes


Robert Hughes was an Australian born art critic, writer, and producer born on 28 July 1938, In New South Wales, Australia.

Family Background:

He was the son of Geoffrey Forrest Hughes and Margaret Eyre Sealy. His father was a pilot in WWI and a lawyer.

Personal Life:

He had married three times during his life. Hughes was married to Danne Emerson from 1967-1981. The couple had a son Danton Hughes. Later he married Victoria Whistler from 1981-1996. Hughes third marriage took place in 2001 to Doris Downes, an American artist, and art director. The couple remained married until his death. He became the stepfather of Downes’ sons – Freeborn Garrettson Jewett IV and Fielder Douglas Jewett.


He had attended St.Ignatius College in Riverview, Australia, and later attended the University of Sydney. At the University of Sydney, he pursued art and architecture but dropped out of college soon after to take up a job.


While still working as an art critic with The Observer Hughes wrote a piece on the history of Australian painting, The Art of Australia in 1966. He had also contributed to the Oz magazine, The Nation, and The Sunday Mirror. In 1970, Hughes had moved to New York, When he had recruited as an art critic by TIMEazine which he had described as a shot in the dark both by him and the magazine. In 1978, Things went well at the TIME and Hughes had hired as a commentator on ABC’s news magazine program 20/20. In 1980, He co-produced, with German producer Reiner Moritz and Lorna Pegram, BBC eight-part series The Shock of the New. In 1987, He had published his next book The Fatal Shore. In 1997, Another of Hughes’ television series American Visions released, Which evaluated the history of American art since the Revolution.

In 2012, He died at Calvary Hospital in The Bronx, New York after suffering from a long illness.

Unknown Facts:

  • His full name was Robert Studley Forrest Hughes.
  • He was a writer.

Master Stroke:

  • The Shock of the New, Created by Hughes in 1980 and produced by the BBC, Which is Hughes’ most prominent work. It had based on the development of modern art since the Impressionists and had accompanied by the book with the same title.


  • In 1999, Hughes had faced a near-fatal car accident in the south of Broome, Western Australia. He was driving on the wrong side of the road, while returning from a fishing trip, and collided with another car. He was in a coma for 5 weeks. He pled guilty to dangerous driving in 2003 and had fined 2,500 Australian dollars.

Awards and Achievements:

  • In 1982, He honored with Frank Jewett Mather Award.
  • In 1988, He received the Golden Plate Award.
  • In 1991, He received the Officer of the Order of Australia award.
  • In 1996, He received the Membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • In 2009, He received the Grierson Award.
  • In 2009, He received the International Emmy Award.

What can we learn from Him??

Like Robert Hughes, Life is all about evolution. What looks like a mistake to others has been a milestone in your life.

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