What We Do
The Warrnambool Art Gallery presents new ideas by leading artists exploring the most important social, political and artistic questions of our time.
The Warrnambool Art Gallery collection began in 1886 with Joseph Archibald’s inaugural donation of museum curios, located in a building behind the Mechanics Institute, which was then expanded to include significant early acquisitions of European art. Despite its enthusiastic start the economic downturn of the 1890s brought the Collection to a halt. In 1910 the Council took control of the Mechanics Institute and ran the Gallery there until 1963 when the building was allocated for municipal offices.
The Collection was then dispersed on loan to galleries in Shepparton and Hamilton and not reunited until 1971. In 1986 the Gallery’s Centenary year, a permanent home was built next to the ‘Civic Green’ and named in memory of one its champions Sir Fletcher Jones O.B.E
To date the Warrnambool Art Gallery has developed a substantial collection of Australian art spanning from European colonisation to contemporary work. The collection comprises significant colonial paintings, a strong representation of works on paper including Melbourne modernist works and contemporary pieces, alongside a thoughtful selection of ceramics, sculpture and installations. Warrnambool Art Gallery is also the custodian of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artefacts, contemporary cultural material and works of art.
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