International Collection

The Gallery started actively collecting works of art in the late 1880s even before it had a building to call home.  For the most part the early acquisitions were paintings and the majority of these were works by British artists, with a small number of paintings from Continental Europe.  This holding has been augmented substantially over time with occasional gifts and bequests and there was a final concerted attempt to acquire important British and French works in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s under the influence of Daryl Lindsay, the Creswick-born Director of the National Gallery of Victoria. 

For the greater part, the Gallery's International collection is 'solid and respectable' rather than exciting, but it does contain some rare and delightful things.  Highlights include  a choice collection of German romantic paintings of the 1830s which were formally in the collection of the Dukes of Cambridge, and some important works by artists such as Paul Signac, Phillip Connard, Lucien Simon, John Bratby and Henry Moore.