Newcastle Art Gallery has a significant collection that spans various media including Australian and Japanese ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture, with a strong and growing presence of traditional and contemporary Indigenous works of art.
This exhibition showcases a selection of acquisitions to the collection over the last two years and features artists of national profile such as Gordon Bennett, Walter Ebatarinja, Sally Gabori, Carol Golding, Kitty Kantilla, Tjungkara Ken, Greeny Purvis, Freddie Timms and Ronnie Tjampitjinpa.
The works on display in this exhibition are a small selection of the large and varied Indigenous collection that Newcastle Art Gallery has been committed to collecting and represent the diversity of Indigenous art forms and practice. This component of the gallery collection has grown exponentially in recent years expanding upon the collection which first represented Indigenous art with the donation of five Arnhem Land barks by renowned collector Dr Stuart Scougall in the 1960s.
The depth and quality of the Newcastle Art Gallery¡'s collection has been primarily the result of generous benefaction over its fifty-seven year history. Individuals from Newcastle and beyond, as well as corporate and local business supporters, and the Gallery¡'s Foundation and Society continue to enrich a collection that is recognised nationally. Coupled with this, has been the generous benefaction of long term donors who have gifted vast works of art from their own collections of Indigenous art to the Gallery.
Works are also purchased through an annual acquisitions allocation provided by The City of Newcastle as well as the Les Renfrew Bequest. New acquisitions are considered by an Acquisitions Committee to ensure that they are of the highest quality and build on the considerable and comprehensive nature of the collection, always conscious of maintaining the long term reputation of both the Gallery and Newcastle as cultural centres of sustained substance.