Art Gallery of Western Australia

Art Gallery of Western Australia

The Art Gallery of Western Australia is a public gallery that is part of the Perth Cultural Centre in Perth, Western Australia. It is located in Northbridge, Western Australia across from Western Australian Museum and State Library of Western Australia. The current gallery opened in 1979. [cite web |url= |title=Art Gallery of Western Australia History |accessdate=2006-06-25 |format= |date= |work= ]

The State's art collection consists of over 15,500 works of art,cite web |url= |title=Department of Culture and the Arts - Art Gallery of Western Australia |accessdate=2008-01-05 |format= |date= |work= ] and the Art Gallery is visited by approximately 400,000 people annually.


The Art Gallery was originally housed in the Jubilee Building with the State Museum and Library.cite web |url= |title=Register of Heritage Places: Art Gallery & Museum Buildings |accessdate=2008-01-03 |format=PDF |date=2001-08-28 |work= ] The Jubilee Building, which was intended to be a public library only, was to be opened in honour of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887, but instead, only the first stone for the foundation was laid. The foundation stone was laid for the Art Gallery in July 1901 by the Duke of Cornwall and York, shortly after the federation of Australia.

Several notable individuals were involved with the development of the Jubilee Building and Art Gallery, including John Winthrop Hackett Senior, James Battye, Ludwig Glauert, George Pitt Morison and George Temple-Poole.

The Art Gallery Administration Building is housed in the former Police Quarters, designed by architect Hillson Beasley, who also designed Government House.cite web |url= |title=Register of Heritage Places: Art Gallery Administration Building |accessdate=2008-01-03 |format=PDF |date=2000-03-24 |work= ] It was built during the economic boom created by the 1890s Kalgoorlie gold rush. The Administration Building moved into the Police Quarters in the 1970s during the nickel mining boom.

The Main Gallery Building was built in 1977, and was also spurred by the mining boom.cite web |url= |title=Register of Heritage Places: Art Gallery of Western Australia Complex |accessdate=2008-01-03 |format=PDF |date=2006-05-09 |work= ] Western Australia was also placing more importance on cultural institutions, and the government was inspired by the upcoming 150th anniversary of federation in 1979. Construction of the Alexander Library began in the same period.

The architect of the Main Gallery Building was K. Sierakowski from the Public Works Department, who worked with engineer Philip Nadebaum and architectural company, Summerhayes and Associates. It was designed in the Bauhaus method with a Brutalist exterior, which was popular in European design. The slab and shear head column system was an innovative architectural feature in WA at the time.


The Art Gallery's first collection was eclectic. The first collection consisted of Indian and Asian craft work, followed by art created by European Australians and copies of English art. The Aesthetic Movement inspired the collection with its broad definition of art.

Ongoing exhibitions include Indigenous traditional and contemporary art from the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and WA art from the 1820s to 1960s. [cite web |url= |title=Art Gallery of Western Australia Exhibitions |accessdate=2008-01-03 |format= |date= |work= ] An annual exhibition called "Year 12 Perspectives" highlights works from Western Australian Art and Art & Design students, including paintings, prints, digital art, fashion design and sculpture. [cite web |url= |title=Woodside Energy and The Art Gallery of Western Australia |accessdate=2008-01-05 |format= |date= |work= ]

Past exhibitions have included:
*Auguste Rodin (2001)cite web |url= |title=Art Gallery of Western Australia Annual Report 2001-2002 |accessdate=2008-01-03 |format=PDF |date= |work= ]
*Monet (2001)
*Max Ernst (2002)cite web |url= |title=Art Gallery of Western Australia Past Exhibitions|accessdate=2008-01-03 |format= |date= |work= ]
*Islamic art from Kuwait (2002)
*Pre-Raphealite paintings and drawings from the Tate Gallery (2003)
*Italian Renaissance, 17th century Dutch and 18th and 19th century French drawings from the Amsterdams Historisch Museum (2003)
*Indian contemporary art (2004-2005)
*Russian art from the early 1900s (2005)
*Australian ceramics from the 1950s to 1960s (2005-2006)
*Norman Lindsay etchings (2006-2007)
*Egyptian art on loan from the Louvre Museum (2007)

External links

* [ Art Gallery of Western Australia website]
* [ Department of Culture and the Arts]
* [ See the Gallery's bathroom at the Art Museum Toilet Museum of Art]


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