Front of the Gallery

About the Collection

Australian Prints, Drawings and Photographs

The Gallery also has an extensive collection of Australian prints, drawings and photographs with special emphasis on South Australian works, including a collection of 2000 drawings by Hans Heysen that were bequeathed to the Gallery by the artist. The Gallery’s Australian prints and drawings reflect the strength of the paintings collection with strong holdings of colonial and modernist works as well as some fine examples of contemporary printmaking. Also to be found among the Australian works on paper are over 200 of Lionel Lindsay’s prints and drawings and a similar number of prints by Adelaide artist Barbara Hanrahan.

In 1922 the Gallery was the first in Australia to begin collecting photographs as fine art, with acquisitions being made throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Since the 1970s the photography collection has been continuously strengthened, with an emphasis on South Australian photography as well as with excellent examples of contemporary photographic media Australia wide. In 2004 the Gallery acquired the R.J. Noye collection of early South Australian photography comprising approximately six thousand items. This collection is of immense significance to South Australia with highlights including extensive holdings of photographs and glass plate negatives by H.H. Tilbrook (1848–1937) and Paul Foelsche (1831–1914). The collection also includes R.J. Noye’s informative website, Photohistory SA, which can be accessed via the following link.