Culture Victoria

Bendigo Art Gallery

42 View Street Bendigo Phone: 5434 6088 Visit Website

Australia’s largest regional art gallery, Bendigo Art Gallery was founded in 1887 - Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Year. Each year the Gallery presents a diverse program of exhibitions with local, national and international content. It also schedules programs and events to accompany exhibitions and highlight aspects of the collection, guided tours, lectures, workshops, talks by arts professionals, films and more, in addition to its education programs specifically for schools and educational institutions.

Bendigo Art Gallery has completed an extensive building and renovation program which has seen the addition of a new contemporary wing, storage areas, the restoration of the period rooms, construction of a new entrance, a new gallery shop, improved wheelchair access and a gallery cafe. The collection is constantly growing and the Gallery enjoys the support of an enthusiastic Friends of the Bendigo Gallery membership, the City of Greater Bendigo and Arts Victoria.

Our Collection

This collection is housed in Bendigo Art Gallery, one of Australia's oldest and largest regional art galleries, established in 1887. The collection includes a special collection of art from the Bendigo goldfields, 19th century European paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, and an important collection of twentieth and twenty-first century Australian art.

Significance
This collection documents the focuses and activities of one of Australia's oldest and largest regional art galleries. It also documents the history of the Bendigo goldfields, and the development of Australian art from the 1850s to the present day. The collection is a significant basis for cultural life in Bendigo and its surrounding region.

Subcollections
19th Century Australian Art Collection

This includes many works by important 19th century Australian artists, including those who documented the history of Bendigo. For example, Thomas Wright's Sandhurst in 1862, George Rowe's Kangaroo Flat, c 1857, and S.T. Gill's Eaglehawk Gully, Bendigo c1852, capture and reflect the initial goldrush on the Bendigo goldfields, through to the city's formation as a burgeoning regional centre. There is also a strong collection of early 20th century Australian art including works by proponents of the Heidelberg School such as Frederick McCubbin, Tom Roberts and Walter Withers. The collection has a special focus on expatriate Australian artists from the turn of the century to the 1940s, artists who for many decades were forgotten by the Australian public, including Agnes Goodsir, Bessie Davidson and Mary Cecil Allen.

Modern and Contemporary Collection

This includes paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings that showcase the development of art in Australia. Artists include Walter Withers, Rupert Bunny, Grace Cossington-Smith, Arthur Boyd, Fred Williams, John Olsen, Margaret Preston, Tim Maguire, Emily Kame (Kwementway) Kngwarreye, Mike Parr, John Nixon, Jenny Watson, Louise Forthun, Matthew Jones, Peter Tyndall, Robert Jacks, Christopher Langton, Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, Patricia Picinnini, Stieg Persson, John Young, Kate Beynon, Emily Floyd, Stephen Bush, Ben Armstrong and Michael Cook.

19th Century International Art Collection

This includes some remarkable paintings, sculptures and decorative arts reflecting European salon trends of the mid-to-late 19th century. British works in the collection include sentimental works such as Homeless by Thomas Kennington, Too Late by Herbert Schmalz, and the stunning photo-realism of the The Arab Blacksmith by Thomas Sheard. These and other works in the collection reflect an era when English and European landscapes, allegories and portraits were seen as an essential part of any Australian art collection.