University Art Gallery


The University Art Collection began with the foundation of the University itself in 1850. Among the first acquisitions of the new institution were a "clock, a portrait of Sir Francis Forbes, two maps, two blackboards with stands and a pair of large globes".

One of the first donors of works of art was Sir Charles Nicholson, who together with Francis Merewether and William Charles Wentworth was one of the founders. Nicholson was active in cultural, political and business affairs of the Colony and had a significant private art collection. In 1865 he gave the University some 30 paintings, tapestries, sculptures and portrait medallions.

Today there are over 4000 artworks by Australian, Asian and European artists in the collection, mainly acquired by bequest, gift, and commission. However it is the depth and diversity of the collection that makes it unique - Chinese art, Japanese woodcuts, European paintings, and a range of media - including paintings, prints, watercolours, drawings, textiles, photography, decorative arts, sculptures and ceramics.

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