Minnie Williamson Gallery and Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Gallery

These two galleries usually display works by Ballarat artists and works which show the evolution of Ballarat from mining camp to thriving city.

The story of Ballarat from the time of white settlement has been well recorded in both words and images. The city has benefited from the presence of artists, both those who brought their skills here and those who developed as artists here. All have given us a visual perception and documentation of our city.

Ballarat's reputation as a centre of artistic endeavour has been sustained by the presence of art schools, from the first art school at the Mechanics' Institute, established in 1875, to the current visual arts courses at the University of Ballarat.

The Minnie Williamson Gallery recognises Minnie Williamson, who studied art at the art school at the School of Mines Ballarat and went on to work as an art teacher in Victorian schools. Her brother was Hugh Williamson, whose foundation has been a major benefactor of the Gallery.

The Helen Macpherson Smith Gallery recognises the contribution to the 2001 extension of the Gallery by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, which benefits Victorian charities. In the colonial era, the Smith Brothers had extensive interests in timber and construction. Adam and James Smith were the proprietors of Smith Brothers Timber Yard in Doveton Street South, Ballarat.