Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm

Watson Road

Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

Margaret’s Gift

  • This event finished on 22 March 2020

Cressida Campbell  White waratah 2000  carved woodblock, hand painted in watercolour pigment  Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 2002 Art Gallery of New South Wales

This summer the S.H. Ervin Galley is presenting an exhibition celebrating the generosity of Margaret Olley AC (1923-2011) who in the course of her lifetime and following her death donated hundreds of art works to cultural institutions across the country.

Curated by Renee Porter, the exhibition brings together over 65 works from collections in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT and includes works by European masters, Australian artists and from Japan and Papua New Guinea which were her earliest known gifts. Margaret wanted to make giving ‘contagious’ so we want to honour her important legacy with an exhibition that highlights her generosity.

Margaret Olley made her first donation of four eating bowls from the Middle Sepik River to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1984 and she continued to give generously up until the time of her death in 2011 and beyond through bequests made by her Art Trust.

The exhibition  organised in association with the Margaret Olley Art Trust, is the second in the series celebrating the important contribution that Margaret Olley had to so many aspects of Australian cultural life.

List of works

Public Programs

Sunday 1 March at 3pm 

Join the exhibition’s curator, Renée Porter for a guided tour of Margaret’s Gift. Renée will discuss the art works in the exhibition and share some insights into Margaret’s collecting choices.

Sunday 8 March at 3pm

Join curator and writer Christine France, Margaret Olley’s long time friend and co-trustee of her estate, as she shares her memories of Margaret and the works she purchased to donate to Australian public art galleries.