Art Gallery of South Australia
History and museums
The Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), located on the cultural boulevard of North Terrace in Adelaide, is one of three significant visual arts museum in the Australian state of South Australia. It has a collection of over 35,000 works of art, making it, after the National Gallery of Victoria, the second largest state art collection in Australia. It was known as the National Gallery of South Australia until 1967 when the current name was adopted.
The Art Gallery is located adjacent to State Library of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide, AGSA is part of Adelaide's North Terrace cultural precinct and had 712,994 visitors in the year ending 30 June 2011. As well as its permanent collection, the AGSA displays a number of visiting exhibition every year, and also contributes travelling exhibitions to regional galleries.
The gallery was established in 1881 and opened in two rooms of the public library by Prince Albert Victor and Prince George, later George V of Great Britain. The present building dates from 1900 and was extended in 1936 and 1962. Subsequent renovations and a significant extension of the building which opened in 1996 added contemporary display space without compromising the interior of the original Victorian building.
The AGSA is renowned for its collections of Australian art, notably Indigenous Australian and colonial art, British art, including a large collection of Pre-Raphaelite works, by artists Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Morris & Co., and Japanese art.
It has important works of the Heidelberg school including Tom Roberts' A break away!, Charles Conder's A holiday at Mentone, and Arthur Streeton's Road to Templestowe. The mid-twentieth century is represented by works by Russell Drysdale, Arthur Boyd, Margaret Preston, Bessie Davidson, and Sidney Nolan. European landscape paintings include works by Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruisdael, Salomon van Ruysdael, Joseph Wright of Derby.
British portrait painters are well represented in the collection which includes Robert Peake, Anthony van Dyck, Peter Lely and Thomas Gainsborough.
Other works include paintings by Goya, Francesco Guardi, Pompeo Batoni and Camille Corot. Sculpture includes works by Rodin, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Jacob Epstein.