Our Australian collection presents a comprehensive survey of Australian art, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, from around 1800 to the present. Among its strengths are its nineteenth-century works (including Australian Impressionist paintings and colonial silverware and furniture), its twentieth-century Modernist collection (which includes a renowned selection of works by female artists) and the work by South Australian artists. The Australian Prints, Drawings and Photographs collection includes 2,000 drawings by Hans Heysen, bequeathed by the artist, and the R.J. Noye collection of 6,000 early South Australian photographs.

In 1939 the Gallery became the first Australian art museum to acquire a work by an Aboriginal artist and today, the traditional and the contemporary unite a diverse collection which includes desert paintings on canvas, bark paintings in ochre, photography, video, textiles, ceramics, glass and sculpture. Highlights of the contemporary Australian collection include Lindy Lee’s Life of Stars at the Gallery entrance and the Kulata Tjuta collaboration, made by Aṉangu artists working in the north of the state.

image: Ali Gumillya Baker, Mirning people, Nullarbor Plain, South Australia, born 1975, Rose Park, South Australia, Sovereign Fleet (red) Faye Rosas Blanch (performer), 2013-2016, Adelaide, pigment print on paper, 147.5 x 106.5 cm (framed); Gift of the artist 2018, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Ali Gumillya Baker (the artist), photo: DENYS FINNEY VISUAL MEDIA.

Assistant Director's Insight

Dr Lisa Slade discusses Aboriginal sovereignty featured by Ali Gumillya Baker.

Doreen Goodchild, Australia, 1900 - 1998, The girl in the yellow hat, 1946, Adelaide, oil on board, 39.0 x 34.7 cm; Gift of David McKee AO through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Estate of Doreen Goodchild.

Curator's Insight

Tracey Lock examines Goodchild’s charming portrait.

Dorrit Black, Australia, 1891 - 1951, Still life - interior, c.1930, Sydney, oil on board, 60.0 x 45.0 cm; Lorraine Hossack Fund through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Curator's Insight

Dorrit Black’s critically transformative period is discussed by Tracey Lock.

Schulim Krimper, Australia, 1893 - 1971, Cocktail Cabinet, c.1965, Melbourne, teak, 158.0 x 101.5 x 43.0 cm; Gift of William J. S. Boyle, Mary Choate, Kathy Crosby, Dr Peter Dobson, Barbara Fargher, Shane Le Plastrier, Joan Lyons, David McKee AO and Tom Pearce through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation Collectors Club 2018, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, photo: Sotheby’s Australia.

Curator's Insight

Gloria Strzelecki shares a major acquisition by Schulim Krimper.

Chiffonier, 1904, Wedge Island, Spencer Gulf, South Australia, blackwood, Baltic pine, Manchurian oak, 142.0 x 104.0 x 38.0 cm; Gift of Helen Bowden 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © estate of Maud Baillie.

Curator's Insight

Leanne Santoro writes on six acquisitions of South Australian woodcarver Maud Baillie (née Golley).

Gareth Sansom, Australia, born 1939, Wittgenstein’s brush with Vorticism, 2016, Sorrento, Victoria, oil and enamel paint on canvas, 213.4 x 274.3 cm; Australian Art Donations Fund 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, photo: Andrew Curtis.

Assistant Director's Insight

Lisa Slade looks at the work Wittgenstein’s brush with vorticism by Gareth Sansom.

H. J. Johnstone, Australia, 1835 - 1907, Evening shadows, backwater of the Murray, South Australia, 1880, London, oil on canvas, 120.6 x 184.1 cm; Gift of Mr Henry Yorke Sparks 1881, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Curator's Insight

Tracey Lock celebrates the Evening Shadows Phenomenon and A Billabong in the Goulburn Valley.

James Oatley, Australia, 1770 - 1839, Longcase clock, 1820, Sydney, Australian cedar, casuarina, 213.0 x 56.0 x 27.0 cm; Gift of Alastair Hunter OAM in memory of his grandparents Alexander and Annie (Bowden) Hunter, and Charles and Muriel (Day) Perry through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

Curator's Insight

Tracey Lock discusses a rare, early example of a domestic longcase clock.