MPRG: FIFTY celebrates the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery’s 50th anniversary with a large-scale exhibition and new publication that highlights the development and growth of this significant collection.
Founded in 1969 by Alan McCulloch, the Mornington Arts Centre as it was known, acquired its first artwork in 1970. Over the past 50 years the collection has grown to include more than 1800 objects, including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures.
A strength of the MPRG collection is the focus on the cultural heritage of the Mornington Peninsula, which has been a haven and source of inspiration for artists since the 1850s, including Fred Williams, Albert Tucker and Arthur Boyd. Many of Australia’s best-known artists have captured the region’s unique scenery and lifestyle and these works now form a valuable part of the collection.
The MPRG collection is also renowned for its specialist holdings of contemporary Australian works on paper acquired from the acquisitive prizes (Spring Festival of Drawing 1973-97, Prints Acquisitive 1974-96 and National Works on Paper 1998-present). This collection continues to grow and documents the diversity and experimentation of this medium.
Providing a snapshot into the progression of an evolving collection, this exhibition features over 70 artworks including works by Margaret Preston, Russell Drysdale, Arthur Boyd, Fred Williams, Brett Whiteley, Jenny Watson, Rick Amor, eX de Medici, Gloria Petyarre, Gareth Sansom, Danie Mellor, Vernon Ah Kee and Jess Johnson among others.
Image: eX de Medici, Red (Colony) 2000, watercolour on paper. Winner of National Works on Paper, purchased by Beleura - The Tallis Foundation, 2002.