Established in 1947, the Mosman Art Prize is Australia's oldest and most prestigious local government art award. It was founded by the artist, architect and arts advocate, Alderman Allan Gamble, at a time when only a small handful of art prizes were in existence in Australia and the community had very little support and few opportunities to exhibit their work.
Over the past 75 years the Mosman Art Prize has developed in stature to become Australia’s most prestigious municipally funded art prize with a national profile. As an acquisitive art award for painting, the winning artworks collected since 1947 form a splendid collection of modern and contemporary Australian art, reflecting all the developments in Australian art practice since 1947.
The inaugural winner in 1947 was a young Margaret Olley. Since the prize has been won by scores of artists including Guy Warren, Grace Cossington Smith, Weaver Hawkins, Nancy Borlase, Lloyd Rees, Anthony Galbraith, Elisabeth Cummings, Tim Johnson, Guan Wei and Michael Zavros among many others. Past adjudicators also include notable Australian art figures such as Margaret Preston, John Olsen, Tim Storrier, Jenny Sages and Edmund Capon.
This exhibition takes a look back at all of the winning artworks and charts the progression in Australian painting from Margaret Olley to Salote Tawale.
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Image: Margaret Olley, New England Landscape, 1947, oil on canvas, 72 x 98 cm. Mosman Art Collection, Mosman Art Prize 1947. Image courtesy the artist and Mosman Art gallery and © the artist.