History of the Friends

UNKNOWN _ Schnapper Point, Mornington c1858_2012.01 Photo_ Mark Ashkanasy sm.jpg

The Friends of the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery was established in 1969 from humble beginnings, when a group of like-minded people were invited by the inaugural director Alan McCulloch to create a Gallery Society.

Its aim was to encourage and stimulate public interest in and appreciation of all aspects of the arts and particularly to support and promote the Gallery.

Largely due to the vision and efforts of the late Alan McCulloch, the Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre was opened in April 1971 in an old house at 4 Vancouver St Mornington, opposite the present shire offices.

The refurbished house quickly proved to be inadequate and the present Gallery was built on the Civic Reserve and opened on the 17 November 1990.

On the 18 June 1993, the Society was incorporated as the 'Friends of the Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre' and in 1995 following the rationalisation of Councils updated its name to 'Friends of the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery'.

The Friends have continued to work strategically to promote and support the MPRG over the past 50 years by stimulating public interest in the Gallery, and the arts in general. Since 1996, the Friends of MPRG have proudly enabled the purchase of more than 30 works for the permanent collection, including important works on paper by artists such as Fred Williams, Gareth Samson, Fiona McMonagle, Ralph Kempkin, Jon Campbell, Raymond Arnold, Catherine Cassidy and Andrew Hazewinkel. 

Image: Artist unknown, Schnapper Point, Mornington c. 1858, oil on canvas, Purchased by Friends of MPRG, 2012 (detail)