The Jan Courtin & Marshall Harris Collection

Gibson’s is honoured to introduce the Jan Courtin and Marshall Harris Collection – a vibrant group of over 80 paintings, drawings and sculptures from modern and contemporary Australian artists which will be auctioned as Part I of our Summer Art Online auction. The collection represents the energetic nature of both Jan and Marshall, who championed budding Australian artists as collectors via their Sydney gallery in the historic arts suburb of Paddington.

Originally Melbournians, Jan and Marshall relocated to Sydney to pursue Jan’s other true love – footy. Jan was a diehard supporter of the Sydney Swans, her regular contributions to the club and dedication to the game led her to be celebrated as Female Fan of the Year by the AFL Fans Association in 2016. A fitting homage ‘for a woman who had uprooted her life to Sydney to be closer to her beloved Swans’.[1]  Jan’s dedication to the Sydney Swans was memorialised in a heartfelt tribute on the club’s website in 2022, a testament to her unwavering support and passion for the game.

Jan Courtin & Marshall Harris

Jan’s passion for footy was only rivalled by her steadfast commitment to Australian art. Jan Courtin and Marshall Harris opened their gallery on Glenmore Road, Paddington, in 1999. In the gallery’s infancy they exhibited works by Polly Courtin, Jan’s sister. A couple of years later they launched the Harris Courtin Gallery, showcasing works of emerging and established Australian artists. Jan and Marshall conducted their gallery with integrity, encouraging and supporting their artists through fostering relationships and patronage. ‘They cared for them, they involved them, and above all, they were extremely professional and generous as gallery directors. Thus, the stable of artists trusted Jan and Marshall completely.'[2] Together they amassed an extensive personal collection which represented their gallery’s artists and the couple’s genuine support and enthusiasm for local Australian artists.

In 2019, Jan and Marshall made the decision to relocate back to Melbourne, settling into a quaint and stylish home in Albert Park. They brought with them their eclectic collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures, diligently gathered over the years.  Adorning every wall and room of their charming Albert Park abode was a patchwork salon hang, serving as a colourful backdrop to their daily lives and embodying the couple’s eccentric taste and style.

Sadly, Jan passed away in August 2022 and Marshall in October that same year. The family respectfully presents this beloved collection to market, paying homage to Jan and Marshall’s legacy as steadfast supporters and collectors of modern and contemporary Australian art.

[1] Vale Jan Courtin, Published Aug 10, 2022; https://www.sydneyswans.com.au/news/1194386/vale-jan-courtin
[2] Statement from Julie Cattlin, sister of Jan Courtin.

View the catalogue.