Fall in love
with the Art Gallery
all over again!
Celebrating 125 Years: Art Gallery of South Australia 1881-2006
Queen Victoria’s grandsons Princes Albert and George (later, King George V) opened the Art
Gallery of South Australia on 18 June 1881. Purchases from the Melbourne International Exhibition
of the previous year and major donated works of art greeted the first visitors. When wealthy
colonial pastoralist and philanthropist, Sir Thomas Elder died in 1897, he left an unprecedented
sum of £25,000 for the purchase of pictures, encouraging the Government to construct a dedicated
Art Gallery, opened in 1900. This building – now our Elder Wing of Australian Art – remains one of
Australia’s most beautiful galleries.
Since 1881 our collection has grown to 35,000 works of art and we’ve welcomed nearly 20 million visitors. Our anniversary is a chance to look back over 125 years of artistic excellence and forward to an exciting future. It’s also an opportunity to pay tribute to the many curators, benefactors, artists and art lovers who, since the turn of last century, have helped to make the Art Gallery of South Australia such an extraordinary place to visit.
Alfred Gilbert, Eros, 1892-93, London, Gift of the Art Gallery of South Australian Foundation and the principal sponsor SAGASCO Holdings Ltd 1992.
Throughout the year visitors will be able to discover more about their Gallery through a range of specially themed talks, tours and family trails to highlight the masterpieces in the collection and the stories behind them. We’ll go on the hunt to reveal Adelaide’s favourite work of art from the collection and will give children the chance to have their say about selected works on display with the introduction of children’s labels. In June, the Foundation will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in style with a sumptuous gala fundraising dinner to be held in the Elder Wing, generously sponsored by Ord Minnett.
Many other initiatives along with the full year’s program of events will be launched at our fabulous Valentine’s Day cocktail party on 14 February.
Join us in 2006 for a very special year of festivities and fall in love with the Art Gallery all over again.