Being one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional art galleries our significant collections include Australian Art from the 1850s to the present day, a special collection of art from the Bendigo goldfields and 19th century European paintings, sculptures and decorative arts.
We are continuously increasing our online access to our collection. Explore our favourites in the collection.
Our modern and contemporary collection
Our collection of modern and contemporary art is an extensive and varied collection which includes painting, sculpture, ceramics, decorative arts, photography and works on paper.
The collection includes work by artists such as Patricia Piccinini, Bill Henson, Dale Frank, Jan Nelson, Fiona Hall, Ben Quilty, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Kit Webster, and Ben Armstrong.
Our 19th century Australian art collection
Our collection of 19th century Australian art depicts a period in our history of wealth and nation-building, hard work and new beginnings.
A particular strength of the collection is the numerous oil paintings and sketches of the local area when it was the site of one of Australia’s richest gold rushes (1850-1900). Those works reflect the early landscape as it was transformed by mining hopefuls and reflect place names unfamiliar (Sandhurst) and familiar.
Walter Wither’s the Drover depicts the Victoria countryside familiar in early Australian life - a drover guiding sheep, the dust rising from the dry earth around them, the scene conveying the intense light and heat of a summer's day.
Thomas Wright's Sandhurst in 1862, George Rowe's Kangaroo Flat, c 1857, and ST Gill's Eaglehawk Gully, Bendigo c1852 capture and reflect the initial gold rush on the Bendigo goldfields, through to the city's formation as a burgeoning regional centre.
The Gallery also has 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.
Our 19th century international art
This collection of English and European landscapes, allegories and portraits includes some remarkable paintings, sculptures and decorative arts reflecting European salon trends of the mid-to-late 19th century.
When these works entered our collection they were considered essential to any serious Australian art collection.
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.
Our substantial collection of French paintings was donated by renowned local doctor JA Neptune Scott in the middle of the 20th century. Some of the most notable artists whose works form the Scott collection are Alfred Sisley, Charles Francois Daubigney and Eugene Isabey.