Image: John OLSEN, Australia born 1928,
McElhone steps 1963, lithograph, Gift of Mrs A.I. Mann 1971
El Dolor I 1987, oil on canvas, Donated by the Bank of Melbourne
Goldfish bowl 1973, lithograph, Gift of R. Fyffe 1974
all Hamilton Gallery Collection.
Australian culture is unique.
Our diverse and distinct landscape; our history and experiences; our flora and fauna; our ethos, values and attitude – have produced a culture like no other.
Hamilton Gallery’s expansive Australian art collection is a reflection of this. It is important for an art gallery to collect works that reflect our national culture to help discover who we are through history and art. Newly appointed Artistic Director, Joshua White becomes acquainted with the Hamilton Gallery Collection by curating his first exhibition, a celebration of Australian post modernism.
“Hamilton Gallery has an amazing collection and I am only beginning to scratch the surface. A strong aspect of the collection is Australian art. I have selected works that have not been on regular display, to highlight the expansive nature of our collection. Choice paralysis was a significant issue in the curation of this exhibition as there is over 9000 objects to choose from. I am excited to continue to discover this collection, and share this with our community.” The works selected stretch from 1945 to 2000. It is a period that encompasses a wide variety of artists, styles and sub movements. This vast phase had significant developments within the visual arts and saw Australian art break European traditions to be brave, to be bold and become uniquely Australian.
The Hamilton Gallery Collection has a fascinating 60 year history. Like many art galleries across Australia, the impetus for building the Gallery was a significant donation by a generous supporter, H.B Shaw. The donation of 781 works in 1958 is the foundation of the collection which has seen a plethora of significant donations since.
The collection has now reached over 9000 objects, with multiple collection focuses.