Is there a masterpiece hiding in your garage?

Art Gallery of NSW on hunt for missing Archibald works

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HIDDEN TALENT: Is there an Archibald Prize portrait lying undiscovered in your attic or garage?

HIDDEN TALENT: Is there an Archibald Prize portrait lying undiscovered in your attic or garage?

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Hunt is on for missing Archibald artworks ahead of prize's centenary celebrations.

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COULD there a hidden masterpiece waiting to be discovered in your attic or garage? Is the portrait in your mother's dining room actually a former Archibald finalist?

The Art Gallery of NSW is on the hunt for hundreds of missing Archibald works, and information about the subjects, and is appealing to the Australian public to help with the detective work.

Perhaps your great-aunt was an amateur painter whose work was hung in the exhibition, or you have a story about a family heirloom that can help fill in the clues.

The Archibald Prize - Australia's oldest and most prestigious portrait award - will celebrate its 100th birthday next year and the gallery is trying to locate paintings that have been in the Archibald since it began in 1921 to include in an exhibition.

Art Gallery of NSW's curator of Australian and Pacific Art, Natalie Wilson, said: "We are seeking the help of people across Australia to provide more information about, and images of, portraits that have been exhibited in the Archibald Prize throughout its history.

Archibald Prize 1923 finalist work by Norman Carter, 1923, Leon Gellert.

Archibald Prize 1923 finalist work by Norman Carter, 1923, Leon Gellert.

"Incredibly, more than 6000 portraits have been included in the Archibald Prize since it was first awarded in 1921 and we don't know the current location of most of these works - the majority of which will be in private collections.

"We are asking people to help us by looking in their attics and garages and asking their relatives if there is a portrait in their family that was possibly painted by an Archibald artist, and to get in touch if you have information that you think might help us put the pieces of the Archibald puzzle together."

The works are currently listed in the prizes section of the Gallery's website, but there are gaps in the published information, particularly before 2003.

The gallery is looking for photographs of the artwork if there is no image online and information about the sitter, if it is not online and they are not a public figure.

They are also keen to find missing images for the Wynne Prize and Sir John Sulman Prize works too.

As part of the centenary celebrations, a national touring exhibition exploring the 100-year history of the Archibald Prize will open at the Gallery in mid 2021 alongside the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2021 exhibition then tour to venues across the country.

Arranged thematically, Archie 100 will present a diverse selection of Archibald portraits, offering audiences a unique insight into Australia's most celebrated portraiture prize.

If you have any information email archie100@ag.nsw.gov.au or write to Archie 100 Project, Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney, NSW 2000.

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