Colonial Gallery – Australian Art to 1880
These works were the creation of
artists mostly born outside Australia, some of whom arrived as
convicts, others who were lured here by gold or came as curious
travellers. It also includes works from the first generation of
These works are a visual record of
society in the early Colonial period; a time of nascent national
identity, conflict, exploration, and the beginnings of Australian
self-government. Convicts and squatters, the goldfields, Eureka,
bushrangers and explorers all have their place. We also begin to
see the growth of Ballarat documented by these artists.
The gallery was hung originalyl
'Academy salon' style, as the picture railing allowed works to be
hung high up the walls, although the viewing of many of these
pieces would have been difficult.
From this room, part of the original
Gallery, we begin our journey through Australian art.