Newcastle Art Gallery - Art Collector

Installation view, Illumination: The art of Philip Wolfhagen, 2013.

Newcastle Art Gallery started in 1957 in the War Memorial Cultural Centre, following a donation of over 100 works of art by benefactor Roland Pope. Twenty years later, the gallery moved next door to its current location with Australia’s first purpose built regional gallery, which was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Friday 11 March 1977.

Today, Newcastle Art Gallery runs a full program of events in support of its exhibitions and plays a key educational role in the cultural life of Newcastle and the Hunter Region. Dynamic public programs include art workshops, guided tours, film screenings, lectures, seminars and public events.

The collection

Newcastle Art Gallery houses the most important public art collection in New South Wales outside Sydney and is considered one of the most significant public collections in Australia. The collection comprises over 6,100 works of art and provides a comprehensive overview of Australian art from colonial times to the present with a growing collection of contemporary Indigenous works. It also includes the largest collection of modern Japanese ceramics in the southern hemisphere.

Exhibition highlights

Newcastle Art Gallery hosts around 18 exhibitions annually. Exhibitions draw on the gallery's collection, as well as public and private collections of national and international importance.

Exhibition highlights from 2014 to 2016 include
Elioth Gruner: The texture of light, a Canberra Museum and Gallery and Newcastle Art Gallery partnership exhibition open from 26 July 2014 to 26 October 2014; Kilgour Prize 2014, open from 8 November 2014 to 25 January 2015; and Capital and Country: The Federation years 1900 – 1913, a National Gallery of Australia exhibition open from 7 March 2015 to 31 May 2015.

Art awards

The Kilgour Prize is an annual painting prize, financed by the JN Kilgour bequest. The prize encourages innovative figurative and portrait painting by Australian artists and awards $50,000 for the most outstanding work of art, as judged by a selection panel. A people’s choice prize of $5,000 is also awarded.


Newcastle Art Gallery offers two types of membership.

Newcastle Art Gallery Society forms an integral part of the social life of the gallery. Members are invited to exhibition previews and special events including lectures and films. The society magazine
Artemis provides an informative digest of arts content. For more information, click here.

Also available is membership in the Art Gallery Foundation, which provides Newcastle Art Gallery’s major acquisition fund. Individual and corporate members are welcomed. Membership includes an invitation to have your name listed on the Foundation Honour Board, special invitations to view public and private collections, or attend member-only events. Foundation members also receive the Art Gallery Foundation's biannual newsletter. For more information, click

Visitor information

Newcastle Art Gallery offers visitors the following facilities:
  • Gallery shop
  • Free guided tours
  • Venue hire
  • Wheelchair accessible

Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Newcastle NSW 2300

Phone: 02 4974 5100
Fax: 02 4974 5105
Facebook: Newcastle Art Gallery
Instagram: Newcastle Art Gallery
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.