ARCHIE 100: Help the Art Gallery of New South Wales discover more about Archibald Prize works
John Brack Barry Humphries in the character of Mrs Everage 1969 oil on canvas 94.5 x 128.2 cm. Purchased with funds provided by the Contemporary Art Purchase Grant from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council 1975. © Helen Brack. This work was a finalist in the 1969 Archibald Prize and was acquired by the Gallery in 1975.
The Archibald Prize, Australia’s oldest and most prestigious portrait award, will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2021. To mark the occasion, the Art Gallery of New South Wales will present Archie 100, a national touring exhibition exploring the history of the Prize in its centenary year.
Following its opening at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in mid-2021 alongside the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2021 exhibition, Archie 100 will then tour to venues across the country.
Arranged thematically, the centenary exhibition will present a diverse selection of Archibald portraits offering audiences a unique insight into Australia’s most celebrated portraiture prize over its 100-year history.
Honouring the artists who have made the Archibald Prize the most sought-after accolade in the Australian art world today, the exhibition will celebrate the triumphant and the thwarted, the many and varied subjects, as well as the controversies and the commonplace.
Archie 100 will comprise works from the Gallery’s own collection as well as from collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Australia, the State Library of New South Wales, the National Gallery of Victoria and regional galleries around Australia, as well as from private Australian and international collections.
Incredibly, more than 6,000 portraits have been included in the Archibald Prize to date. In preparation for the touring exhibition and to add vital information and images to its Prizes Archive, the Art Gallery of NSW is now seeking the help of Australians across the country to provide more information about, and images of, portraits that have been in the Archibald Prize throughout its history.
These are listed in the prizes section of the Gallery’s website. This is an important resource for researchers and members of the public that the Gallery is seeking to develop further. We do not know the current location of many of these works, most of which will be in private collections, and we are hoping to discover other information, including images and details of the sitters.