Featuring 36 outstanding paintings from the Newcastle Art Gallery collection, PAINTING MEMORY: From the collection celebrates the forgotten and unknown secrets behind some of the Gallery’s most beloved works of art. These paintings evoke stories about their origins, their creators and their memories.
This exhibition 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, Grace Cossington Smith’s Trees c1927 and Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s Summer storm 1992. As highlights of the collection they demonstrate the Gallery’s ongoing commitment to building its significant holdings of Australian art.
Nationally recognised as one of the finest public collections in Australia, the Gallery collection began in 1945 when Dr Roland Pope, an ophthalmic surgeon from Sydney, promised the bequest of his art collection of 123 works of art 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 the current Gallery 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.
The exhibition features artists: 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.
Each painting is accompanied by text that explores the painting’s memory and how the work of art entered the collection, drawing upon research by the Newcastle Art Gallery Guides and Gallery staff. Using their knowledge and passion for art, their research helps provide a link between the Gallery and its visitors, enabling the community to further engage with the city’s collection.
Extended captions (pdf)