Much-loved works from Newcastle's collection on display for summer

22 Oct 2017

From Margaret Olley to Brett Whiteley, Rupert Bunny to Grace Cossington Smith - 36 of the "greatest hits" from the Newcastle Art Gallery collection - including well known Newcastle-born artists William Dobell and John Olsen - will be on show in an upcoming free exhibition PAINTING MEMORY: From the collection.
Scheduled for display from 28 October 2017 to 28 January 2018, these outstanding paintings celebrate the little-known stories behind some of the Gallery's most beloved works of art. Each painting is accompanied by text that explores the painting's history and how the work of art entered the collection, drawing upon research by our Newcastle Art Gallery guides.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said this is the perfect exhibition to showcase the Gallery's collection during the celebration of its 60th year. Newcastle Art Gallery first opened its doors in 1957 in the War Memorial Cultural Centre, which now houses Newcastle City Library. "For those community members who have fond memories of visiting the Gallery at any stage over the last 60 years, this exhibition will be like a homecoming," said the Lord Mayor.
"And for those who don’t get to visit the Gallery as often as they would like - this exhibition showcases some of the most significant works held for the people of Newcastle in the Gallery's collection. Our community is fortunate to have a public collection that is nationally recognised as one of the finest in Australia. I encourage everyone to bring your guests during the festive season to see our fantastic cultural offerings."
PAINTING MEMORY presents favourite works of art that explore the history of painting in Australia and features key paintings such as Brett Whiteley's Summer at Carcoar 1977, William Dobell's Portrait of a Strapper 1941, and Grace Cossington Smith's Trees c1927.
 The Newcastle Art Gallery collection began in 1945 when Dr Roland Pope, an ophthalmic surgeon from Sydney, promised the bequest of his art collection of 137 Australian paintings to Newcastle - conditional upon the construction of an Art Gallery. In 1957 'Newcastle City Art Gallery' opened on the second floor of the War Memorial Cultural Centre. From there the collection has grown over the years, moving into its current building in 1977 through the support of the Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation, the Newcastle Art Gallery Society, and the benefaction of countless individuals, artists and the community.
Artists in the exhibition (in alphabetical order):
 David Aspden, Sydney Ball, Ralph Balson, Clarice Beckett, Charles Blackman, Peter Booth, Arthur Boyd, Rupert Bunny, John Coburn, Grace Cossington Smith, Robert Dickerson, William Dobell, Russell Drysdale, W.B. Gould, Elioth Gruner, Nora Heysen, Dale Hickey, Robert Jacks, Roy Jackson, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Joseph Lycett, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Sidney Nolan, Margaret Olley, John Olsen, Matthew Perceval, Lloyd Rees, Tom Roberts, Jeffrey Smart, Arthur Streeton, Tony Tuckson, Eugene Von Guérard, Roland Wakelin, Daniel Walbidi, Brett Whiteley and Fred Williams.
Additional artist information is available on request.
Upcoming related public programs:
Last Fridays - Free, Friday 27 October & the last Friday of every month (except December), open until 8pm
Enjoy after-hours access to the exhibitions and a drink at our pop up bar. This month, celebrate the opening of the new exhibition PAINTING MEMORY: From the collection and the 60th anniversary of the War Memorial Cultural Centre building, where the Gallery was first located before moving to its current location in 1977 and which now houses Newcastle City Library. Engage with art making activities and view large projections in the activated spaces on Laman street during the celebratory street party. Plus, join us for micro-talks exploring the stories and memories of our iconic works of art, held throughout the evening.
Image above (and detail on home page):
Grace COSSINGTON SMITH Trees c1927, oil on plywood 88.5 x 72.0cm Purchased with assistance from the Art Gallery and Conservatorium Committee 1967 Newcastle Art Gallery collection Courtesy Estate of Grace Cossington Smith