Entrance to the Queensland Art Gallery, Melbourne Street

Entrance to the Queensland Art Gallery, Melbourne Street

Queensland Art Gallery

Architect: Robin Gibson (1930–2014)
Opened: 21 June 1982
Awards: Sir Zelman Cowan Award for Architecture

The Queensland Art Gallery building opened in 1982 as part of the first stage of the Queensland Cultural Centre at South Bank. In December 2006, a new sweeping glass entry designed by original architect Robin Gibson was added at Stanley Place.

'It is not only a place for the collection and exhibition of our art works, it is a place where the walls and barriers of the Gallery are broken down, where there is a constant source of interchange between the art world and the public.' – Robin Gibson, architect's statement

Entrance to the Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place

Entrance to the Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place

Gallery of Modern Art

Architect: Kerry and Lindsay Clare, Architectus
Opened: 2 December 2006
Awards: 2007 Royal Australian Institute of Architects National Award for Public Architecture

In July 2002, Sydney-based company Architectus was commissioned by the Queensland Government following an Architect Selection Competition, to design the Gallery's second site, the Gallery of Modern Art.

'The duality of the design approach [for GOMA] is that the architecture is impressive and monumental without losing its openness and freshness, and without being intimidating; international yet responsive to local conditions and the south-east Queensland context. By adopting this approach the architects propose to realise one of the Gallery's most important aims – to place the institution in the public experience of the city.' – Lindsay and Kerry Clare, architect's statement

The Queensland National Art Gallery opened in 1895 in the now demolished Brisbane Town Hall building / Reproduced courtesy: John Oxley Library, Brisbane

The Queensland National Art Gallery opened in 1895 in the now demolished Brisbane Town Hall building / Reproduced courtesy: John Oxley Library, Brisbane

History

In the late 19th century, Queensland artists Isaac Walter Jenner and R Godfrey Rivers successfully lobbied for the creation of a state art gallery, which began life as the Queensland National Art Gallery in 1895. It occupied a series of temporary premises prior to the opening of its permanent home at Brisbane's South Bank in 1982.

The establishment of The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) exhibition series in 1993 forged a focus on the artwork of the region and created a case for a second building to display a growing contemporary collection. The Gallery of Modern Art opened in 2006, creating a two-campus institution.

Timeline

  1. 1895

    Queensland National Art Gallery opened by the Queensland Governor, Sir Henry Wylie Norman, at temporary premises in old Town Hall on Queen Street. The inaugural display includes 38 pictures, one marble bust, and 70 engravings.

  2. 1896

    First acquisition: Blandford Fletcher Evicted 1887

  3. 1898

    First Australian acquisition: Josephine Muntz‑Adams Care c.1893

  4. 1905

    Gallery relocates to Executive Building (Land Administration Building) in George Street

  5. 1915

    First full-time curator, James Watt, appointed

  6. 1931

    Gallery relocates to Exhibition Building Concert Hall at Gregory Terrace

  7. 1949

    Robert Campbell appointed first Director

  8. 1951

    Robert Haines appointed Director

  9. 1961

    Laurie Thomas appointed Director

  10. 1967

    James Wieneke appointed Director

  11. 1969

    South Brisbane site purchased for the development of the permanent Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) building

  12. 1973

    Robin Gibson and Partners selected to design QAG building

  13. 1974

    Raoul Mellish appointed Director
    Gale force winds during Brisbane floods force closure of Exhibition Building at Gregory Terrace

  14. 1975

    Gallery moves to temporary premises in M.I.M building, Ann Street

  15. 1977

    Construction of QAG building begins

  16. 1979

    Queensland Art Gallery Foundation established, acquiring The Master of Frankfurt Virgin and Child with Saint James the Pilgrim, Saint Catherine and the Donor with Saint Peter c.1496

  17. 1982

    Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) opens in its new permanent home, which is awarded the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings.

  18. 1987

    Doug Hall appointed Director

  19. 1993

    The First Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

  20. 1995

    Queensland Government dedicates the site to the north of the Cultural Centre for future Gallery expansion

  21. 2000

    Queensland Government announces the Millennium Arts Project, which includes the design and construction of a second site for the Queensland Art Gallery

  22. 2002

    Following an international competition, Queensland Government commissions Architectus to design the Gallery of Modern Art

  23. 2004

    Construction commences on the Gallery of Modern Art

  24. 2006

    Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) opens, with ‘The 5th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’; a new Robin Gibson-designed entry from Stanley Place opens at QAG

  25. 2007

    Tony Ellwood appointed Director

  26. 2013

    Chris Saines appointed Director

  27. 2015

    Queensland Art Gallery, along with the other original Robin Gibson-designed buildings of South Bank's Cultural Precinct, listed as a State Heritage Place on the Queensland Heritage Register

  28. 2018

    James Turrell’s architectural light installation Night Life is activated, illuminating GOMA from within from sunset to midnight daily.

  29. 2020

    Galleries closed for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kamruzzaman Shadhin, Bangladesh b.1974 / Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts Bangladesh, est. 2001; Collaborating artists: Johura Begum, Monowara Begum, Majeda Begum, Fatema Begum (1), Shabnur Begum, Chayna Begum, Fatema Begum (2), Samiron Begum, Shirina Begum, Rekha, Nasima Begum, Shushila Rani, Protima Rani, Akalu Barman / The fibrous souls 2018–21 / Jute, cotton, thread, clay, brass / 70 pots: 40–100cm each (diam.) (approx.) with 70 shikas of various dimensions / Originally commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation / Purchased 2021 with funds from Metamorphic Foundation through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © The artists / Photograph: C. Callistemon © QAGOMA

Kamruzzaman Shadhin, Bangladesh b.1974 / Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts Bangladesh, est. 2001; Collaborating artists: Johura Begum, Monowara Begum, Majeda Begum, Fatema Begum (1), Shabnur Begum, Chayna Begum, Fatema Begum (2), Samiron Begum, Shirina Begum, Rekha, Nasima Begum, Shushila Rani, Protima Rani, Akalu Barman / The fibrous souls 2018–21 / Jute, cotton, thread, clay, brass / 70 pots: 40–100cm each (diam.) (approx.) with 70 shikas of various dimensions / Originally commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation / Purchased 2021 with funds from Metamorphic Foundation through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © The artists / Photograph: C. Callistemon © QAGOMA

Asia Pacific Triennial

The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) is QAGOMA's flagship contemporary art series. Since 1993, the APT series has drawn more than three million visitors with an ever-evolving mix of exciting and important contemporary art from the region.

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Tony Albert, Girramay/Yidinyji/Kuku Yalanji peoples b.1981 / Moving the line 2018 / Vintage playing cards, coasters and matchboxes mounted on board / 163.5 x 134cm (comp., irreg.) / Commissioned 2018 with funds from the Future Collection through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation 2018 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Tony Albert

Tony Albert, Girramay/Yidinyji/Kuku Yalanji peoples b.1981 / Moving the line 2018 / Vintage playing cards, coasters and matchboxes mounted on board / 163.5 x 134cm (comp., irreg.) / Commissioned 2018 with funds from the Future Collection through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation 2018 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Tony Albert

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Ai Weiwei’s Boomerang 2006 undergoing rewiring for energy-efficient LED bulbs, 2020 / Photograph © QAGOMA

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QAGOMA Blog

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