Hamilton Gallery, Hamilton

4.5
Art Gallery · Hidden Gem · Museum
Hamilton Gallery was established in 1961 following a large bequest left to the City of Hamilton by Herbert Shaw (1882-1957). Considered to be one of the major arts bequests of the 20th century, the Shaw Bequest included 781 items of exquisite English and European silver, glass, porcelain, miniatures,Asian ceramics, paintings, and furniture . This bequest was the beginnings of Hamilton’s collection.

Hamilton’s large collection of Paul Sandby’s charming 18th century English landscapes is unrivaled in Australia and second in size to the Queen’s collection at Windsor Castle. Still in their original frames they are on permanent display in the Gaussen Gallery, an elegant recreation of an English drawing room complete with William Morris wallpaper.

Since 1961 Hamilton’s collection has grown to over 7000 objects and now includes silver, porcelain and glass from 1700 onwards, a collection of 18th century landscapes by Paul Sandby, Asian ceramics and metalwork from the major dynasties, European and Australian prints, Australian oil paintings and watercolours and fine international examples of 20th century decorative arts.
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Hamilton Gallery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
31 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • From a young age, I have visited this wonderful place. I have always loved the displays. So peaceful and relaxing here. It is free to visit, although there is a donation box. This is a top venue.  more »
  • some people told me that the gallery is famous for its glasses....while actually when I visited it, the paintings from Paul Sandby attracted and fascinated me more...Paul Sandby was called the father....  more »
Google
  • Such beautiful classical artwork and variety of fixtures. Most impressive for art lovers in regional Victoria if not Australia. Been a few times, definitely will go again. Worth the visit.
  • Hamilton Gallery was established in 1961 following a large bequest of an outstanding collection of art works left to the City of Hamilton by Herbert Buchanan Shaw (1882-1957). This generous bequest of 781 items reflects the collecting interests of Herbert and his wife May who lived at 'Kiama', a homestead near Hamilton. The Shaw Bequest consisted mainly of 18th and 19th century English and European decorative arts and was the beginnings of Hamilton's collection that is today vast, fascinating, diverse and unique. Since 1961 Hamilton's collection has grown to over 9000 objects and now includes silver, porcelain and glass from 1700 onwards, a collection of 18th century landscapes by Paul Sandby, Asian ceramics from the major dynasties, European and Australian prints, Australian oil paintings and watercolours and fine international examples of 20th century decorative arts. The Gallery's collection continues to expand with the purchase of new acquisitions every year. The Gallery actively collects Australian art, works on paper and contemporary decorative arts. Hamilton Gallery presents a high quality program that features some of the finest exhibitions touring Australia, exhibitions from the vast permanent collection and work by local artists. The Shaw Bequest includes examples of 18th and 19th century English and European silver, glass, porcelain, an extensive range of Oriental ceramics and hard stone carvings. The bequest also contains Roman glass and early Mediterranean artefacts, a tapestry from the early 1700s, 'The Triumphal Entry of Alexander into Babylon', designed by Charles le Brun(1619-1690), a 16th century Chinese-Tibetan bronze Buddha, English 19th century watercolours including a Bonington wash drawing, a few pieces of furniture, a drawing by Adrien Manglard, Australian paintings by Hans Heysen, Will Ashton, Frederick McCubbin, Septimus Power and a James Quinn portrait of May Shaw. In 1972, the State Government of Victoria purchased for the Gallery a large collection of works by Paul Sandby (1731-1809), known as The Father of English Watercolour. A first floor was then added to accommodate a rapidly growing collection. The Sandby collection of 29 watercolours and 74 etchings was purchased from C.C.L. Gaussen and Lady Mary Gaussen of 'Gringegalgona', a homestead near Hamilton. Sandby was a foundation member of the Royal Academy and the earliest English artist of note to exploit the media of watercolour and gouache. He was also a fine etcher, a great innovator and the art of aquatint printing was developed in England largely as a result of his early enthusiasm for this technique. Hamilton's large collection of Sandby's charming 18th century English landscapes is unrivalled in Australia. Still in their original frames they are on permanent display in the Gaussen Gallery, an elegant recreation of an English drawing room. Hamilton Gallery is noted for its rich, diverse, historic and contemporary collections of fine and decorative arts featured in six modern galleries

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