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 founding generation.

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.