James Oddie Gallery – Traditional 19th Century Art
The Oddie Gallery is a showplace for
the 19th century British and European art most valued by Ballarat's
This room formed part of the original
gallery, the core from which everything else grew. Many of the
artworks in this room were donated by prominent Ballarat citizens
or were bought in the first few years of the Gallery's life.
Narrative and landscape were the
dominant genres of the day, telling historical stories and
providing a European-born public with a visual reminder of their
homelands. The works here reflect the people of the new community
in Ballarat - their ancestry, their journeys to Ballarat, their
homesickness and the things they valued.
Some of the works in this room are by
artists who went on to have careers in the Australian colonies,
showing that even the distant southern continent was part of a
broader European culture extending across the world.
The room is named after one of the
leading citizens of Ballarat in its early years, James Oddie, who
was the driving force behind the establishment of the Gallery,
giving it many artworks from his collection.