The Newcastle Art Gallery Society will paint a picture of humble beginnings amid its 50th anniversary celebrations this month.
David Thomas is set to deliver ARTSPEAK 2019 Recollections: evolution of an art gallery on Friday 24 May.
During his tenure as the gallery’s second director, between 1965 to 1975, the art gallery society was formed in 1969 and art gallery guides were introduced in 1972.
Despite working with a modest budget, Mr Thomas continued to build the collection, adding major Australian artists such as Ruper Bunny, Grace Cossington Smith, Dale Frank, Sydney Ball, and Fred Williams.
He was also influential in formulating new plans for the construction of a new art gallery to house the growing collection.
The current site, in Cooks Hill, was opened in 1977 by Queen Elizabeth II.
Newcastle Art Gallery Society president, Prue Viggers OAM, said it had played an integral part in the city’s cultural life over the past 50 years.
“Membership of the art gallery society provides access to the city’s renowned collection of art and vibrant exhibition program,” she said.
“The society hosts events to raise funds to assist the art gallery to acquire works of art for the collection.
“Membership is open to everyone and is an excellent way of experiencing art with like-minded people.”
To celebrate the 50th anniversary, inaugural members who formed the society and current members have been invited to ARTSPEAK 2019.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the celebratory event.
It will take place from 6pm to 7pm at the Newcastle Art Gallery, Laman Street, Newcastle.