Alan McLeod McCulloch was born in Melbourne in 1907. Spending his early years in Sydney, he returned to Melbourne after the death of his father in 1917 and attended school until financial trouble forced him to take up a position at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He worked as a teller from 1925 to 1944, while taking night classes in art and contributing art criticism and cartoons to newspapers.
From 1946 to 1950, McCulloch travelled to the USA, Europe and the UK, marrying Ella Bromley Moscovitz in New York in 1948 before returning to settle on the Mornington Peninsula. In 1970 he became the inaugural director of the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery until 1991 where he developed a specialist collection of Australian prints and drawings.
He served as art editor of Meanjin from 1954 to 1961.
In 1965, he assembled an exhibition of Aboriginal Bark Paintings from the Chaseling and Cahill collections from the Museum of Victoria to tour to the Houston Fine Art Gallery, Texas USA.
In 1968 he published The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, based on newspaper cuttings he had started collecting in 1940, he updated it in 1984. Posthumous editions were co-authored by his daughter, Susan McCulloch, and his granddaughter, Emily McCulloch Childs in 1994 and 2006.
He held several solo exhibitions of his paintings and drawings in London and Melbourne.
Meanjin Volume XV, Numbers 1-4, 1956
(l-r) Volume XI, Number 3, 1952; Volume IX, Number 3, 1950