Alexander Fletcher was an important but today largely unrecognised art connoisseur, picture dealer, framer, conservator and exhibition curator.
Fletcher oversaw the hanging of the pictures at the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 and sold a greater number of works than ever before at an exhibition. In 1889 Table Talk claimed that Fletcher's well-known Art Gallery in Collins Street was the source of paintings hanging numerous Australian mansions. He also sold works from his stock of European, British and Australian paintings to the state galleries. Artists who exhibited works included Eugene von Guerard, who sent nine paintings for display in 1884. The following year he sent Fletcher another six paintings.
Fletcher also organised the fine arts at several International and Intercolonial Exhibitions between 1880 and 1890, for which he often drew on his own collection.
Fletcher's business appears to have collapsed in 1893, presumably a victim of the depression.
'In the Artist's Footsteps' Department of Education,Training and Youth Affairs website, http://www.artistsfootsteps.com/html/vonGuerard_biography.htm, accessed 12/1/2004.