In November 2004, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery received an extraordinarily generous 1.2 million dollar bequest from the collection of the late Mrs Gwen Frolich. This selection of paintings, drawings and prints features many of Australia’s most respected artists including Charles Blackman, Robert Dickerson, Leonard French, James Gleeson, Rosemary Madigan, John Olsen, Norma Redpath, William Robinson, Jan Senbergs, Jeffrey Smart and Fred Williams.
This exhibition is not just a collection of fine Australian art, it is a collection which represents the passion of one woman for whom art, and the artists who produced it, was a lifetime’s love. Gwen Frolich’s connection with the Australian art scene spanned more than three decades. In 1961, Gwen’s association with Rudy Komon, now recognised as one of the most influential figures in the Australian art world of the 1960’s and 70’s, began. Originally hired to do his book keeping, Gwen soon proved indispensable. An invaluable asset to Rudy Komon, she oversaw all aspects of the running of a successful commercial gallery; from hanging exhibitions, to managing Rudy’s relations with his artists and clients.
Loved and respected by all who knew her, Gwen developed lasting friendships with many of the artists she worked with. A testament to the affection these artists held for Gwen is the fact many of the works in this collection were personal gifts, given on birthdays or as tokens of their appreciation for her work at the Komon Gallery.