Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation Gallery and Oliver Family Room – Australian Art 1985 to the present

The Hugh D.T. Williamson Foundation Gallery houses a selection of the Gallery's holdings of artworksthat have been produced since the mid 1980s - the 'coalface' of contemporary Australian art. Artists represented in this room include people who have established firm reputations over the past 30 to 40 years, as well as emerging artists.

'Eclectic' and 'diverse' are probably the words that describe Australian art of the last 25 years. Some artists have returned to the human figure, while others look to imagery from earlier eras to express their own ideas, or seek to follow in the great romantic tradition of the early 19th century. Some of the more recent work is stark and pervaded with a sense of disquiet.

The room brings together contemporary art of indigenous and non-indigenous Australia, with works by central desert artists next to artists from 'down south'. The Gallery has one of the most comprehensive collection of indigenous art of any regional gallery, and is the only collection outside a capital city with a serious holding of Top End bark paintings.

This room is in the new east wing of the Gallery, part of the 2001 Centenary of Federation project which saw the development of the Camp Street Arts precinct. It is named after the Hugh Williamson Foundation, established in 1986 by Hugh Williamson, a Ballarat-born and educated banker turned philanthropist. The Foundation has contributed significantly to this Gallery, and many other Ballarat cultural institutions, since it was established in 1986.

The Oliver Family Room has been conceived to be a place of rest and reflection in your journey through the permanent collection. It is named after the Olivers, a Ballarat business family which has been a generous supporter of community institutions and charities.

The lift in the north-west corner of the Williamson Gallery provides public access to the Potter Gallery below.