Art Gallery of Ballarat Australia, Ballarat

Art Gallery of Ballarat

The Art Gallery of Ballarat is the oldest and largest regional art gallery in Australia. Established in 1884 as the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery by the citizens of Ballarat, both the building and part of its collection is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and by the National Trust of Victoria.

The gallery is notable as the home, since 1895, of the original Eureka Flag and houses major collections covering the history of Australian art from the early colonial period to the present day.

For the first five years of the gallery's life, the association rented the large supper room of the Ballarat Academy of Music, now Her Majesty's Theatre, which was made available by Sir William Clarke, 1st Baronet. The association then worked to secure land on the site of the Government Camp and to raise funds for a permanent home for its collection. Much of the energy and the money came from a prominent Ballarat citizen, James Oddie. The current building is the oldest purpose built art gallery building in Australia. Designed by Tappin, Gilbert and Dennehy in the Renaissance Revival architecture style as a bluestone brick and render facade and stone stairway, the foundation stone was laid by Sir William Clarke in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The new building was opened by Alfred Deakin on Friday 13 June 1890.

The gallery is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, of which the City of Ballarat is the sole shareholder. It is administered by a board of directors. Gordon Morrison has been director of the gallery from 2004.

The gallery is supported by the Art Gallery of Ballarat Foundation, which raises funds and receives donations on behalf of the gallery and by the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Association, an independent organisation which established the gallery in 1884 and gave it to the Ballaarat City Council in 1972. Membership of the association is open to members of the public and brings with it a range of benefits, including discounts at the gallery shop and cafe and invitations to exhibition openings.

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