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History of the City Collection

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History of the City Collection

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​HOTA Gallery (formerly Gold Coast City Gallery) was established in 1986 and houses more than 4500 art works worth more than $32 million dollars, making it one of the largest visual art collections in regional Australia.

The Collection does not represent an encyclopaedic history of Australian art; instead it has developed around specific collecting themes and strengths. Predominantly acquired through art prizes (in particular the Gold Coast Art Prize founded in 1968), sponsorship and benefaction, it incorporates media specific categories of Australian art, and addresses areas that give the collection its distinctiveness.

The paintings collection from the 1970s is of particular note for its exploration of abstraction and colour-field, where painters David Aspden, Michael Johnson, Col Jordan, Alun Leach-Jones, and Ron Robertson-Swann were all acquired through the Gold Coast Art Prize. The International Gold Coast Ceramic Art Award commenced in 1982, with the inaugural winner being Gwyn Hanssen Pigott for Tea set. Over the years the Award provided acquisitions for the city collection by important ceramicists including Les Blakeborough, Stephen Benwell, Patsy Hely, Jeff Mincham, Victor Greenaway, Jenny Orchard, and Alan Peascod.

The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award was initiated in 2002, this acquisitive prize (originally $10,000, but now $25,000) has attracted a showcase of Australia’s best contemporary photographers. Previous winners have included Jacky Redgate, Justine Varga, Shaun Gladwell, Polly Borland and Polixeni Papapetrou. An additional $25,000 is provided each year by the City of Gold Coast to contribute to building this important collection, which is now one of the strongest collections of 21st century photography outside of an Australian capital city, and features works by Jacqui Stockdale, Owen Leong, Christian Thompson, Darren Sylvester and Liam Benson.

Through the vision of the Gallery’s first Director Fran Cummings, and later the benefaction of Patrick Corrigan AM, the City of Gold Coast holds a fine collection of Indigenous work from across Australia, in particular barks by John Mawurndjul, Charlie Djurritjini and Dorothy Galaledba, as well as major paintings by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori,Gordon Bennett and Gordon Hookey.

The art and souvenirs of the Gold Coast captures the entrepreneurial spirit of our city, and includes works by Victoria Reichelt, Aaron Chapman, Michael Zavros, Abbey McCulloch, Chris Bennie, Anna Carey, the Huxleys, and Scott Redford, as well as works relating to the Gold Coast as a muse, including works by John Gollings, Kenneth Jack, Charles Blackman, William Bustard and Edwin Bode.


Image credit:

Abbey McCulloch (b.1975), Beyond 2016 (detail), oil on canvas, 150 x 120cm, Collection, Gallery at HOTA. Acquired through the assistance of our generous benefactors 2016.


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HOTA proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.

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