Winner Archibald Prize 2017, Mitch Cairns <i>Agatha Gothe-Snape</i> oil on linen, 140.5 x 125 cm © the artist. Photo: Mim Stirling, AGNSW
12 May - 24 June 2018
115 days from now
10am to 5pm Tue to Sun, 7 days during school holidays
12 May - 24 June 2018
Paid exhibition

Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is Australia’s foremost portraiture prize. The Archibald Prize awards $100,000 prize money for the winning artist. In its 96th year, the Archibald Prize has been held annually since 1921. An open competition, the Archibald Prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Entries to the Archibald Prize must be painted in the past year from at least one live sitting. Finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on a year-long regional tour. In the early years, all entries were hung. The prize was established from a bequest by Jules Francois Archibald, the founding editor of The Bulletin magazine. Archibald was a passionate supporter of a distinctly Australian style of nationalism, journalism and the arts. In establishing the prize his aim was to foster portraiture as well as support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians. JF Archibald died in 1919 at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst, with the first Archibald Prize being staged two years after his death. According to Archibald’s will – held in the Art Gallery of New South Wales archive – the Archibald Prize is to be awarded annually to the best portrait ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’. Portraits must have been painted in the previous year from at least one live sitting with the artist.

An Art Gallery of NSW touring exhibition


  • General admission $10
  • Society and Foundation members $7
  • Concession $7
  • Children under 12 years FREE
  • Pre-booked education groups FREE


Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Cooks Hill