Since its inception in 1904, Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery has acquired, through donation, gift or purchase a collection of national importance.
The Gallery manages more than 1800 colonial, modern and contemporary Australian artworks, predominantly paintings and works on paper, by artists including Rick Amor, Charles Blackman, Arthur Boyd, Noel Counihan, Liz Cumming, George Gittoes, Barbara Hanrahan, Mandy Martin, Clifton Pugh, Lloyd Rees, Gary Shead, Tim Storrier.
The Gallery has a strong representation of leading Aboriginal artists including Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Michael Nelson Tjackamarra, William Sandy,David Malangi, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Susan Marrawarr, Gordon Hookey and Badger Bates. It also possesses an authoritative collection of the artworks narrating the history of Broken Hill. This includes works by JC Goodhart, Sam Byrne, Robert Emerson Curtis, May Harding, Hoppy Hopgood and Pro Hart.
Following the bequest from Mr George McCulloch in 1904, the collection was strengthened in 1913 with the donation of Vae Victis, the Sack of Morocco by the Almohades, 1890, Arthur Hacker RA, and Home From the Hills, James Coutts Michie, by Mrs J Coutts Michie OBE (widow of Mr George McCulloch).
From these early donations, the collection continued to grow. A key figure in the history of the development of Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery’s collection was FEB Rost. Mr Rost moved his family to Broken Hill around early 1940 to take up the position of Principal at the Technical College. Together with the President of The Zinc Corporation, WS Robinson, he acquired the works of significant Australian artists including Arthur Streeton, Rupert Bunny, George Lambert, Hans Heysen, William Blamire Young, Norman Lindsay, Lloyd Rees and George Lawrence. In October 1950 Rost was appointed the first Director of the Art Gallery in recognition of his commitment to the arts and service to the community.
Today the collection is further enhanced and strengthened through the generous donation or gift of artworks, as well as through the Gallery’s annual acquisitive award, The Outback Open Art Prize. Highlights of the collection are on permanent display in the upstairs gallery and smaller exhibitions are on display periodically.
The Gallery is currently undertaking a two-year project to digitise the full permanent collection at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery and at the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum. This project has been funded by Create NSW via the NSW Government Regional Cultural Fund.