Co-director of McCulloch & McCulloch Australian Art Books, Susan McCulloch has been a book publisher and art writer since 1978. Born in London, she arrived in Australia as a child and was brought up at Shoreham, Victoria, at Whistlewood – a house much-visited by leading international and Australian artists, writers, academics, critics and many others and now the McCullochs home gallery. She studied singing at Melbourne University Conservatorium of Music, was also an anti-war activist and in 1978 became a book publisher with her own independent book publishing company.
Since 1980 she has combined book publishing with writing on the arts for major Australian press including The Age, The Bulletin, the Melbourne Herald, and many other journals and magazines.
She was The Australian newspaper’s visual arts writer 1994-2003 and its national art critic 2003-2004.
She has managed McCulloch’s Encyclopedia of Australian Art since the late 1980s and has been its co-author for its 1994 and 2006 editions.
Susan has a longstanding passionate interest in Aboriginal culture, has written widely on the subject and travels as often as possible to the many art-producing communities throughout Australia. Her book, McCulloch’s Contemporary Aboriginal Art: the complete guide, (1999, 2001, 2008) has become a classic reference work on the subject since its first edition in 1999.
In 2003 she established the publishing company Aus Art Editions (now McCulloch & McCulloch Australian Art Books) with her daughter Emily McCulloch Childs to research, write and publish the Encyclopedia and a range of other books on Australian indigenous and other visual arts. She continues to write further books and writes for The Australian Financial Review.
In addition to arts writing, Susan is also an art consultant, a curator, a guest speaker at exhibitions, and frequent judge of art prizes.
In 2011 she received the Order of Australia medal for services to the arts for writing and publishing.