Many of these posts wait until there is a special temporary exhibition at museums and art galleries to promote/mention them, which can inadvertently place the regular exhibits as ‘second prize’. Not so. Most galleries have so much to offer every day of the year and none more so than the Art Gallery of NSW.
I have an affectionate spot for the collection of Australian paintings at the Art Gallery of NSW. When I was at school there was a print on the wall of my French classroom that I loved. It was a smaller version of an Elioth Gruner painting called Spring frost (right). I didn’t know the artist or the title of the painting until I visited the gallery and saw the original – it was magnificent – the frost almost crackled and you could somehow smell the morning. This won Gruner the Wynne Prize in 1919, one of seven he won for his landscapes.
From being a fan of one painting, I became a fan of the collection… paintings by Frederick McCubbin, Conrad Martins, Sydney Long, Hans Heysen, Arthur Boyd, Charles Condor, Sydney Nolan, Fred Williams, Lloyd Rees, Russell Drysdale, William Dobell, Brett Whitely and many more. Two other particular paintings that seduce me every visit for the detail and the brushwork are The golden fleece by Tom Roberts (header image) and Fire’s on by Arthur Streeton (right). Here is a link to the Australian artworks in the collection. And, of course, the annual Archibald Prize, Wynne Prize and Sulman Prize exhibition is another reason to visit.
There is another landscape that is worth sitting a while to enjoy, and that’s the real view through the large gallery window of Sydney Harbour beyond the Botanic Gardens. In short, it is a terrific gallery and well worth more than just one visit. If you are a visitor to Sydney, the Art Gallery of NSW is highly recommended and Rydges can look after all your accommodation needs in the CBD at Rydges Sydney Central or Rydges World Square and just over the Harbour Bridge at Rydges North Sydney.