About our collection

Jenny Watson, Portrait for Nick, 1977

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (MPRG) is home to an outstanding collection of more than 1,600 predominantly Australian artworks acquired over five decades.

The collection features works from the eighteenth century through to the present day. It contains some remarkable treasures, including a selection of old master prints and drawings, seminal modern works by Arthur Boyd, Russell Drysdale, Charles Blackman and other acclaimed Australian artists, and a growing body of contemporary works by established and emerging artists.

A strength of the collection is its focus on the cultural heritage of the Mornington Peninsula, which has been a haven and source of inspiration for artists since the 1850s, including Fred Williams, Albert Tucker and Brett Whiteley. 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.

The collection is also renowned for its specialist holdings of contemporary Australian works on paper. Through the Gallery’s biennial acquisitive exhibition National Works on Paper, the collection continues to grow and is well placed to document the diversity and development of this medium.

Works are also acquired by special acquisition, gift or donation. We are particularly keen to increase our holdings of Mornington Peninsula works by significant artists or, of significant subject matter that relates to our region. The 2010 donation by Mornington Peninsula artist Dorothy Braund of 43 of her works typifies the rich association that can be established and developed between artist, collecting institution and the public.

Other important works in our Permanent Collection include: Peter Purves Smith’s Surrealist composition: Seashore with figures, c.1939, and Margaret Preston’s Tank traps, 1943, which have come to us through important benefactors, Dr Joseph Brown and Dr Clem and Nina Christesen respectively, while paintings such as Arthur Boyd’s Lovers in a boat, Hastings, c.1955, and a complete set of the 1970 ‘Lysistrata’ series of etchings entered the Collection as a direct result of the enduring friendship between the artist and Gallery director.

Works in the collection can be viewed by appointment.

Image: Jenny Watson, Portrait for NIck, 1977, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery