Misty Moderns was the first major exhibition to tell the story of Australian tonalism; a movement championed by the influential and often controversial painter Max Meldrum, which reached its peak during the inter-war period.

Around 80 works by Meldrum and his followers were brought together from collections around Australia. Included in the exhibition were works by Meldrum’s best-known pupils Clarice Beckett, Percy Leason and Colin Colahan, as well as formative works by Australian Modernists Roy de Maistre, Roland Wakelin, Lloyd Rees, Arnold Shore and William Frater.

This unprecedented display provided a long-awaited look at Meldrum’s influence on the wider development of Australian modernism, and on successive generations of Australian painters.