The RST Art Collection
The Royal Society of Tasmania has acquired – through donation, purchase, and exchange – a valuable collection of over nine hundred paintings and sketches, including works from many famous colonial and convict artists such as WC Piguenit, John Skinner Prout, Louisa Anne Meredith, Simpkinson de Wesselow, Benjamin Duterrau, and Owen Stanley. The RST Art Collection is currently housed at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery on loan.
Read about some of the artists represented in the RST Art Collection here, and the background to particularly significant artworks included in the Collection. Learn why this Collection is of national significance.
Any collection of this size and immense cultural significance requires on-going funding to ensure proper conservation. Adequate insurance of our Art Collection is also essential.
Many of the works are in need of special care and attention to ensure they remain a valuable asset that can be enjoyed by all Tasmanians. Some valuable items require urgent attention before they can be exhibited or viewed.
The Society intends to mount exhibitions that will be open to the public. The cost of mounting exhibitions is significant.
To showcase our Art Collection, both to the general public and potential researchers, the Society plans to publish catalogues containing data about the items in the collection and the collection as a whole. We will also encourage researchers and authors to write about the collection for publication.
In the coming months and years, the Royal Society of Tasmania will be forging a new path, as we work on the care and management of The Royal Society of Tasmania Art Collection. This unique collection is of great historical and artistic importance as a record of the colonial era in Tasmania.
As an initial step, a new position of Honorary RST Art Curator has been created and offered to Dr Anita Hansen.
In addition to her lifelong passion for art and her own practice as an artist in natural history illustration, Anita is very well-credentialled academically in this field. Anita holds a PhD from the University of Tasmania (2013) “19th Century Natural History Art and Belonging in Tasmania“. She undertook a fellowship with the University of Toronto in the field of Cultural Studies (2012) and gained a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tasmania (2008) – “The Illustrations and Work of William Archer“. Anita’s earlier qualifications include a Graduate Diploma in Art (Plant and Wildlife Illustration) (1992) from the University of Newcastle and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (1989) from the University of Tasmania. Anita has worked primarily as a graphic designer/video producer and has also curated several exhibitions, both interstate and locally.
How can you support the Art Collection?
The RST Library and Art Fund allows members and the general public to financially support the Society in the management and conservation of its comprehensive collection of artworks. Donations over $2 may be tax deductible in Australia.