Founded in 1969 by Alan McCulloch, the Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre, as it was known, acquired its first artwork in 1970. Over the past 50 years the Collection has grown to include over 1800 objects, including paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures.
One strength of the MPRG Collection is the focus on the cultural heritage of the Mornington Peninsula which has been a haven and source of inspiration for many artists. Some of Australia’s best-known artists have captured the region’s unique scenery and lifestyle and these works form a valuable part of the Collection.
A series of new collection rooms will take visitors on a journey through historical and contemporary representations of the Mornington Peninsula.
The MPRG Collection is also renowned for its specialist holdings of contemporary Australian works on paper acquired from acquisitive prizes (Spring Festival of Drawing 1973-97, Prints Acquisitive 1974-96 and National Works on Paper (NWOP) 1998-present).
Focus displays within this exhibition will highlight Australian women printmakers from the late 1970s and early 1980s, NWOP winning works, and a series of works that ruminate on the repetitive nature of automatic drawing and stream of consciousness narratives.
MPRG: FIFTY breaks down traditional hierarchies by creating a kaleidoscope of colour with the greatest number of works from the collection ever on display together. The show inspires fresh connections, accidental intersections, and a new understanding and appreciation for our remarkable and evolving collection.
The exhibition features over 100 artworks including much loved favourites like eX de Medici’s Red (Colony) 2000 (pictured), Arthur Boyd’s iconic Mt Martha from Rosebud Beach 1938, Lisa Roet’s giant primate finger Orang-utan Index 2001-03 and Locust Jones’ epic Geronimo 2011.
The Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery has reopened to the public, following the closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MPRG: FIFTY is on display until Sunday 29 November 2020. For more information, visit: www.mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: eX de Medici, Red (Colony) 2000 (detail), watercolour on paper, Winner of National Works on Paper, purchased by Beleura – The Tallis Foundation, 2002