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Australian Art

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In 1976, despite an economic recession, a fundraising drive to establish a significant collection for the city of Rockhampton achieved a triumphant $500,000 from private donations and Federal Government funding. The fund was largely directed towards acquiring contemporary Australian art including significant paintings by artists such as Albert Tucker, Fred Williams, John Brack, John Perceval, Arthur Boyd, Russell Drysdale, Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman, Jeffrey Smart, Sali Herman, Margaret Olley and Danila Vassilieff.

There are also significant works on paper that includes prints by David Aspden, Noel Counihan, and Brett Whiteley. Since this inaugural collection development, Rockhampton Art Gallery has continued to acquire paintings and works on paper from leading Australian artists, such as Grace Cossington Smith, but also Noel McKenna, Peter Booth, William Robinson and Rick Amor. A unique element to this collection is that these artists are represented through a key work from their career, but this is also a collection that highlights the stylistic diversity in Australian modern art.

The Gallery is committed to a collecting focus on modern and contemporary Australian art. The Gold Award has contributed significantly to this aim, with Sally Gabori’s monumental painting Dibirdibi Country winning inaugural Gold Award in 2012 and Imants Tillers's winning artwork Epiphany 2014 winning the Gold Award 2014. Recent acquisitions through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, but also gifts and purchases, have included works by Hilda Rix Nicholas, Roland Wakelin, Judy Cassab, Jon Molvig, Ben Quilty, Kate Shaw, Victoria Reichelt, Polixeni Papapetrou, Jason Benjamin, Daniel Boyd, Petrina Hicks, Lawrence Daws, Ian Smith, Euan Macleod, Del Kathryn Barton, and Ken Yonetani.

Selected Artworks

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David ASPDEN
 (1935–2005)
Brazil study III 1971
acrylic on paper, 53 x 70 cm
purchased 1986
© Karen Aspden


Charles BLACKMAN
(b. 1928)
[Figure with flowers] 1955
oil on cardboard laid on board, 94.3 x 68.7 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the 
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board 
of the Australia Council 1977
© Charles Blackman/Licensed by Viscopy 2013


Arthur BOYD
(1920–1999)
Potato diggers 1948
oil on canvas, 53.2 x 70.2 cm
Art Acquisition Fund 1976
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the 
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board 
of the Australia Council 1977
© Reproduced with permission of Bundanon Trust

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John BRACK 
(1920–1999)
Portrait of Lyn Williams 1976
oil on linen, 129.6 x 96.8 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the 
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board 
of the Australia Council 1977
© Helen Brack


Judy CASSAB
(b. 1920)
Portrait of Desiderius Orban 1976
charcoal and acrylic on canvas, 136.9 x 122.9 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the 
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board 
of the Australia Council 1977
© Reproduced with permission of the artist


John COBURN
(1925–2006)
Tropic of Capricorn 1975
oil on canvas, 140 x 158 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the 
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board 
of the Australia Council 1977
© John Coburn/Licensed by Viscopy 2013
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William Delafield COOK
(b. 1936)
Asparagus 1977
charcoal on paper on canvas, 57.9 x 71.1 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the 
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board 
of the Australia Council 1977
© William Delafield Cook

Noel COUNIHAN
(1913–1986)
Albert Namatjira 1959
linocut on paper, 55.7 x 22.7 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© Estate of Noel Counihan

Ray CROOKE
(b. 1922)
Making camp, Laura River waterhole 1970
oil on composition board, 75.8 x 101.6 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the 
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board 
of the Australia Council 1977
© Reproduced with permission of the artist 

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William DARGIE
(1912–2003)
Portrait of Rex Pilbeam
[Mayor of Rockhampton 1952–1982] 1977
oil on canvas, 101.5 x 83.9 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the 
assistance  of the Visual Arts Board 
of the Australia Council 1977
© Rockhampton Art Gallery


Russell DRYSDALE
(1912–1981)
Outback postmistress and daughter 1976
oil on canvas, 62.5 x 76.4 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© Estate of Russell Drysdale


Donald FRIEND
 (1915–1989)
The magic island 1970
mixed media on paper, mounted on
composition board, 147.7 x 107.8 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1976
© Estate of Donald Friend

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Sam FULLBROOK
 (1922–2004)
Jockey, horse and aeroplane 1976
oil on canvas, 96.2 x 107 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
 


James GLEESON
(1915–2008)
The trap 1971
oil on canvas, 152.2 x 122.4 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1976
© Reproduced with permission of
Gleeson/O’Keefe Foundation


Frank HINDER
(1906–1992)
Margel at work 1949
ink and coloured chalks on paper, 45.7 x 57 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© Estate of Frank Hinder

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Jon MOLVIG (1923–1970) [Stockman, central Australia] 1958


Vida LAHEY
(1882–1968)
Daisies and Geraldton wax flowers 1962
watercolour and gouache on paper, 40 x 32.8 cm
gift of Ruby Campbell in memory of 
John & Elisabeth Campbell, to the people 
of Rockhampton c.1962–64
© Queensland Art Gallery


Kenneth MACQUEEN
(1897–1960)
After heavy rain, reflections in a dam 1948
watercolour on paper, 47.7 x 39.8 cm
Art Acquisition Fund 1977
© Estate of Kenneth Macqueen


Jon MOLVIG
(1923–1970)
[Stockman, central Australia] 1958
oil on paper on board, 93.5 x 68.4 cm
purchased with funds provided by
Rockhampton Regional Council 2012
© Reproduced with permission of Otte Bartzis

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Sidney NOLAN
(1917–1992)
Burke in central Australia 1964
oil on composition board, 122.2 x 122.2 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1976
© The Artist’s Estate. All rights reserved
2013/Bridgeman Art Library
 


Margaret OLLEY
(1923–2011)
Pots and objects 1975
oil on composition board, 75.9 x 121.7 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1976
© Estate of Margaret Olley


John OLSEN
(b. 1928)
Life drawn towards the void 1976
oil on canvas, 96.3 x 106.4 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© John Olsen/Licensed by Viscopy 2013

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John PERCEVAL
(1923–2000)
Nativity scene II 1948
oil and tempera on canvas, 85.1 x 89.7 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© John Perceval/Licensed by Viscopy 2013
 


Clifton PUGH
(1924–1990)
Drought and eagles 1975
oil on canvas, 130.5 x 183.4 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© Reproduced with permission of
Shane Pugh and 
Dailan Pugh


Lloyd REES
(1895–1988)
Werri Beach, Gerringong I 1973
oil on canvas, 97 x 128.2 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1976
© Lloyd Rees/Licensed by Viscopy 2013

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William ROBINSON
(b. 1936)
Four cows, one bulling 1980
oil on canvas, 136.9 x 182.5 cm
gift of the artist under the Australian Government’s
Cultural Gifts Program 2003
© Reproduced with permission of the artist 


Jeffrey SMART
(1921–2013)
Fiumicino car park 1975
oil on canvas, 60.2 x 60 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1976
© Reproduced with permission of the artist
and Australian Galleries, Melbourne and Sydney


Grace Cossington SMITH
(1892–1984)
Drapery in the studio 1940
oil on pulpboard, 65.5 x 57.8 cm
Rockhampton Art Gallery Trust Art
Acquisition 
Fund 1995
© Estate of Grace Cossington Smith

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Joshua SMITH
(1905–1995)
Portrait of Chips Rafferty 1964
oil on canvas, 111.3 x 88.1 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© Reproduced with permission of Yve Close


Constance STOKES
(1906–1991)
The Virgin 1944
oil on composition board, 67.4 x 40.7 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© Estate of Constance Stokes


Brett Whiteley
(1939–1992)
Katharine Hobbs 1976
pencil, charcoal and ink on wove paper, 84 x 59.5 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1976
© Wendy Whiteley

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Fred WILLIAMS
(1927–1982)
Burning tree at Upwey, Victoria 1968
oil on canvas, 134.7 x 119.3 cm
Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the
assistance of the Visual Arts Board
of the Australia Council 1977
© Estate of Fred Williams
 

   


Rockhampton Art Gallery
62 Victoria Parade
PO Box 1860 Rockhampton Qld 4700
Phone: (07) 4936 8248
gallery@rrc.qld.gov.au
www.rrc.qld.gov.au