Post Office Gallery
51-67 Pall Mall, Bendigo VIC 3550
|24 Sep 21 - 19 Jun 22|
Highlights from the Bendigo Art Prize 1938–1967
Throughout Bendigo Art Gallery’s history, art prizes have been offered as a means to support artists while presenting the opportunity to acquire contemporary works for the collection. Eponymous prizes – those named after a particular person – have also served to recognise individuals who have rendered their support to the Gallery or to preserve someone’s memory. Not without controversy at times, art prizes have ultimately served to stimulate public interest in contemporary art.
From the RHS Abbott Prize of 1938, offered in recognition of Richard Hartley Smith Abbott’s many years of service to the Gallery through to the long-running Bendigo Art Prize (1947–1967), there have been numerous art awards offered by the Gallery. Through a brief survey of winning works from these historical exhibitions, we can observe the changing fashions and styles of painting, including the emergence of abstraction in the 1960s as well as subjects of local interest and, eventually, stronger recognition of women artists. The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize and the Paul Guest Prize for contemporary drawing, offered on alternate years, continue this legacy today.