Newcastle Art Gallery's collection presents a comprehensive overview of Australian art from colonial times to the present day. Accentuated by several key pieces of historical importance, a diverse range of Indigenous bark paintings and the nation's finest collections of twentieth century Japanese ceramics and Australian ceramics, Newcastle Art Gallery's collection is of national significance.
The collection began in 1945 when Dr Roland Pope, an ophthalmic surgeon from Sydney with familial connections to Newcastle, promised to bequest his collection to Newcastle on the condition that an art gallery was constructed. The Gallery opened under the name of 'Newcastle City Art Gallery' in 1957 on the second floor of the War Memorial Cultural Centre, adjacent to the Gallery's current home. In the mid-1970s the Gallery's current building was constructed and was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Friday 11 March 1977. Read more about the Gallery's history on the History page.
There are over 7000 works of art currently in the Gallery's collection, celebrating a wide variety of styles and mediums. Within our main collecting areas of Ceramics, Painting, Photography, Prints & Drawings, Sculpture and Video & New Media both colonial and contemporary works are represented, celebrating Novocastrian, Australian (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) and at times international artists. Key artists include: Carl Andre, Arthur Boyd, Daniel Boyd, Rupert Bunny, Judy Cassab, Grace Cossington Smith, John Coburn, Virginia Cuppaidge, Destiny Deacon, William Dobell, Rosalie Gascoigne, Bill Henson, Nora Heyson, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Clement Meadmore, Tracey Moffatt, Joseph Lycett, Hilda Rix-Nicholas, Margaret Olley, John Olsen, Bronwyn Oliver, Patricia Piccinini, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Margaret Preston, Lloyd Rees, Brian Robinson, Julie Rrap, Alex Seton, Dr Ken Thaiday Snr, Brett Whiteley, Michael Zavros as well as an extensive Australian and Japanese ceramics collection including the prestigious Sodeisha collection. The collection is managed and developed by the Gallery's Curatorial team.
Key benefactors to the collection have included Dr Roland Pope, Anne von Bertouch, Dr William Bowmore, James Erskine, Jack Noel Kilgour, Ann Lewis AO, the former chairman of Nippon Steel - Shigeo Nagano, Margaret Olley, Les Renfrew, Newcastle Art Gallery Foundation, Newcastle Art Gallery Society, Newcastle Art Gallery Guides as well as countless artists and private or anonymous donors. The collection is continually growing with new acquisitions every year. All proposed acquisitions are approved by the Acquisitions and De-accessioning Committee and City of Newcastle before entering the collection.
Now that Newcastle Art Gallery's building expansion project has commenced, our acquisitions program will be adjourned until early 2024. If you would like to make an enquiry during this time, please don't hesitate to contact the Gallery's Curatorial team email us here.
Copyright and image reproductions
Newcastle Art Gallery seeks to maximise public access to its collection and exhibitions. Currently, a representative sample of the Gallery's collection is online. The Gallery is constantly improving and adding to the information on this website through research and scholarship, with images and updates being made to records on a regular basis. The Gallery is working towards increasing the number of works available for online viewing.
Where possible, works of art displayed on the site are accurately attributed with the creator’s name, year and materials, and approved by the copyright owner or their agents. The Gallery is committed to obtaining consent from copyright holders, however, despite carrying out due diligence in trying to trace rights holders, some identities remain unknown. Illustrating these works of art online is one of the best ways to discover copyright holders; if there are any inaccuracies or you have any information, please contact the Gallery.
Unless permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), (e.g. for the purposes of research and study) images and text on this website may not be reproduced, downloaded, copied, published, or used without permission. Requests for image reproduction and publication of the Gallery's works of art should be made in writing to the Gallery's Curatorial team: email us here or call 4974 5100.
Now that Newcastle Art Gallery's building expansion project has commenced the collection is no longer accessible for viewing in person. If you would like to make an enquiry during this time, please don't hesitate to contact the Gallery's Curatorial team email us here. You can also search our collection database online here.
Newcastle Art Gallery are planning a major gallery expansion commencing mid 2022. As a result of the significant resources that will need to be devoted to this project, the Gallery is placing a moratorium on our loans program for this period. Any current loans that have been approved will be honoured.
The loans moratorium will take place from 1 October 2021 until 1 July 2024. The Gallery will consider loan requests received from July 2024 with the loan program officially reopening from 1 May 2025. Loan requests will be subject to approval. Any queries regarding loan requests or the moratorium please email us here