Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery is located at 404 – 408 Argent Street, Broken Hill. Broken Hill is the largest regional outback centre in Western New South Wales, positioned close to the South Australian border and midway between the Queensland and Victorian borders. Broken Hill is a culturally rich and diverse environment. Famous for its mining industries, silver and mineral deposits, and unionism, the city today is also identified by the strength of its arts community, and number of artists and galleries in the region. The town is also the home of The Brushmen of the Bush, a celebrated group of Australian artists including Pro Hart, Jack Absalom, Hugh Schulz, Eric Minchin and John Pickup, who took paintings of outback Australia to the world.
The Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery provides an annual program of locally curated exhibitions along with touring exhibitions from major cultural institutions. A selection of works from the collection is on permanent display in the upstairs gallery. The annual program includes work by established and emerging Aboriginal artists from around the Far West region of New South Wales.
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery is housed in the historic Sully’s Emporium (pictured). Operating from 1885 – 1985, Sully’s Emporium was the longest surviving commercial business in Broken Hill providing much of the heavy machinery and equipment for the development and exploration of Broken Hill’s mineral fields.
Since its establishment in 1904, Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery has acquired, through donation, gift or purchase a collection of national importance. The Gallery manages more than 1800 colonial, modern and contemporary Australian artworks, predominantly paintings and works on paper, by artists including Rick Amor, Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, Noel Counihan, Liz Cumming, George Gittoes, Barbara Hanrahan, Mandy Martin, Clifton Pugh, Lloyd Rees, Gary Shead, and Tim Storrier among many others.
The Gallery has a strong representation of leading Aboriginal artists including Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Michael Nelson Tjackamarra, William Sandy, David Malangi, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Susan Marrawarr, Gordon Hookey and Badger Bates. It also possesses an authoritative collection of the artworks narrating the history of Broken Hill. This includes works by JC Goodhart, Sam Byrne, Robert Emerson Curtis, May Harding, Hoppy Hopgood and Pro Hart.
Following the bequest from Mr George McCulloch and friends in 1904, the collection was strengthened in 1913 with the donation of "Vae Victus, the Sack of Morocco by the Almohades" 1890, by Arthur Hacker RA, and "Return from the Hills" by James Coutts Michie, by Mrs J Coutts Michie OBE (widow of Mr George McCulloch). Today the collection is further enhanced and strengthened through the generous donation or gift of artworks, as well as through the Gallery’s annual acquisitive award, The Outback Art Prize. Highlights of the collection are on permanent display in the upstairs gallery.