Former Rockhampton Art Gallery Director Don Taylor initiated the Gallery’s collection of modern Australian ceramics. The collecting period from the late 1970s to the early 1980s represents an excellent cross section of leading ceramicists such as Klytie Pate, Col Levy, Shiga Shigeo, Victor Greenaway, Phillip McConnell, Milton Moon, Christopher Sanders and Les Blakeborough.
Through the Gallery’s former art prize, the Ergon Energy Award, the ceramics collection continued to grow, while purchases were also made. In the 2000s acquisitions included pieces by Greg Daly, Len Cook, Reg Preston, Harold Hugan, and Kim-anh Nguyen. The decorative arts collection also includes 19th and 20th production ceramics by Wedgewood & Sons, and Royal Doulton, which were gifted by local donors, as well as a small number of objects in woodwork and glass.