Founded in 1969 by Alan McCulloch, the Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre, as it was then known, acquired its first artwork in 1970. Over the past 50 years, the Collection has grown to include over 1800 objects, including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures.
The Mornington Peninsula has been a haven and source of inspiration for artists since the 1850s, including Fred Williams, Albert Tucker and Arthur Boyd. Many of Australia’s best-known artists have captured the region’s unique scenery and lifestyle and these works now form a valuable part of the Collection. A series of new collection rooms will take visitors on a journey through historical and contemporary representations of the Mornington Peninsula.
MPRG: FIFTY breaks down traditional hierarchies by creating a kaleidoscope of colour with the greatest number of works from the Collection ever on display together. The show inspires new connections and appreciation for this remarkable and evolving Collection.
Other artists exhibited include Margaret Preston, Tom Roberts, Ian Fairweather, Charles Blackman, Russell Drysdale, Arthur Boyd, Fred Williams, Brett Whiteley, Jenny Watson, Richard Lewer, John Nixon, Jennifer Mills, Jon Campbell, Jan Sengbergs, Margaret Preston, Euan Macleod, Lisa Waup, Fiona McMonagle, Dorothy Braund, Brent Harris, John Brack, Rick Amor, eX de Medici, Gloria Petyarre, Gareth Sansom, Danie Mellor, Vernon Ah Kee and Jess Johnson amongst others.
MPRG has produced a 50th anniversary collection publication featuring two key historical essays by Susan McCulloch OAM, Adjunct Professor, College of Design & Social Context, RMIT and daughter of founding Director Alan McCulloch and former MPRG Senior Curator, Rodney James. The publication features over 70 works with statements written by current staff, former staff and artists represented in the collection. Available online from July 1.
MPRG’s education and public programming will continue to be delivered online during July and August and the Gallery will launch a new initiative MPRG TV – featuring a series of online events for people to enjoy from home. On Thursday July 23 at 6pm an online launch of the MPRG: FIFTY exhibition and 50 year publication will be streamed live. Following this is a weekly in-conversation series that will be presented every Thursday at 7.30pm.
The exhibition runs July 1 – November 22, 2020.
Image: eX de Medici, Red (Colony) 2000 (detail), watercolour on paper, Winner of National Works on Paper, purchased by Beleura - The Tallis Foundation, 2002
MORNINGTON PENINSULA REGIONAL GALLERY