The Archibald Prize for portraiture is the best-known and one of the oldest visual arts awards in Australia. The winning portrait painting is judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.


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The Archibald Prize

 The Archibald Prize for portraiture is the best-known and one of the oldest visual arts awards in Australia. The winning portrait painting is judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The prize of $35,000 and the recognition and publicity the prize generates encourages painters to stretch their skills and encourage their development.

 The Archibald Prize competition, and each year's winning entries, are the subject of great public interest and debate. The Archibald Prize encourages public discussion about portraiture, painting, and art and definitions of quality.

 To enter the Archibald Prize, the artist must personally know the subject and the subject of the portrait must be aware of the artist's intention to enter the Archibald competition. There has to be at least one sitting by the subject for the portrait. 

The Archibald Prize Winners

Archibald, Wynne & Sulman 2012 winners

Tim Storrier wins this yearís Archibald Prize for his self portrait

Tim Storrier The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch), Archibald Prize 2012 winner

This year, the 91st year of the Archibald Prize, there were 839 entries, 783 entries for the Wynne, and 654 entries for the Sulman.

The Archibald and Wynne prizes are judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The judge for the Sulman Prize was Susan Norrie.

The Archibald winner receives $75,000, the winner of the Wynne Prize for landscape painting or figure sculpture receives $35,000, the winner of the Sulman Prize for subject/genre painting and/or mural receives $30,000 and the winner of the Watercolour Prize (part of the Wynne Prize) receives $2,000.

Archibald Prize 2011 winners

Ben Quilty's portrait of Margaret Olley wins this year's Archibald Prize

Ben Quilty Margaret Olley, Archibald Prize 2011 winner

Artist information: Ben Quilty on painting Margaret Olley



John Olsen Self portrait Janus Faced

 The 2005 Archibald Prize has been won by John Olsen for his painting Self portrait Janus Faced. The Archibald Prize is now in its 84th year and Olsen received a prize of $35,000 for his win. 

 Australian artist John Olsen said: "I feel as if I've won the Melbourne Cup, but I feel better than the horse that did."

 John Olsenís artist statement about his Archibald self portrait comes in the form of a poem, which he wrote this year:

John Olsen, Self portrait Janus Faced
John Olsen, Self Portrait Janus Faced
Oil on Canvas 182x200cm
Image Art Gallery of New South Wales

Janus Faced
Sitting this afternoon in the studio, 
Summerís gone. 
Nowís the time of freckled leaves & longer shadows. 

Men & women after sixty 
In slippered feet, 
Pause on the stairs, 
Janus faced. 

Self delights in well worn brush 
On an ancient palette. 
Time trickles & avoids defeat.
Janus Faced. 

 Janus is the Roman god of doorways, passages and bridges. In art he is depicted with two heads facing in opposite directions.

 "I think that the poem casts light in dark places," says John Olsen of his portrait. "It informs the viewer. Janus had the ability to look backwards and forwards and when you get to my age you have a hell of a lot to think about."

 "You have to be a certain age to be able to look at the past," Olsen said at the Art Gallery of NSW. Referring to the painting he said: "It's a setting sun, and I think that's appropriate."

 "I'm looking towards an uncertain future, but I'll travel with it."

 The Art Gallery of NSW director, Edmund Capon, said: "It's nice after the past few years when younger and, if you like, louder painters have won, to have him now in the annals of Archibald winners."

 Artist John Olsen bio
 Born in Newcastle in 1928, John Olsen, AO,  is often referred to as Australia's greatest living painter. In 1977 he was awarded the OBE for services to the arts and in 1993 an Australian Creative Fellowship. He won the Wynne Prize in 1969 and 1985 amongst many other awards throughout his long career. He received an Order of Australia (AO) in 2001.

 John Olsen is represented in all State Collections and in regional galleries across the country. He is also represented in major public and private collections in Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA. Olsen was a finalist in the 1989 Archibald Prize with a self portrait in moments of doubt.


The Trustees also Highly Commended the work by 
Nicholas Harding Bob's daily swim



The 2004 Archibald Winner 

Craig Ruddy David Gulpilil, two worlds

Craig Ruddy ' David Gulpilil, two worlds'

The Trustees also Highly Commended the work by Danelle Bergstrom Franco Belgiorno-Nettis - 'larger than life'


Rod McNicol Robert Hunter 1984 & 2004

The Judges also Highly Commended the works by 
Jim Anderson Paddy 'Guwumji' Bedford 
Rebecca Shanahan Untitled

Allan Mitelman Untitled

The Judge, Aida Tomescu also highly commended the work by 
Virginia Coventry Hover 

George Ward Tjungurrayi Untitled

George Tjungurrayi, 'untitled'The Trustees also Highly Commended the work by 
Gloria Petyarre Untitled (leaves) 

The Trustees Watercolour Prize
John Wolseley Rare and unexpected sightings of the Embroidered Merops 
and the Spinifex Grasswren

John and Elizabeth Newnham Pring Memorial Prize
Junko Hagiwara Macleay St, Kings Cross


The 2003 Archibald Winner

 Geoffrey Dyer won the 2003 Archibald Prize for his portrait of Richard Flanagan. Geoffrey Dyer received a prize of $35,000.

Geoffrey Dyer - Richard Flanagan
GEOFFREY DYER Richard Flanagan

 Predominantly a landscape painter, Geoffrey Dyer paints a portrait once a year for the Archibald Prize and likes to choose fellow Tasmanians as his subject.

 Richard Flanagan is the acclaimed author of books including Death of a River Guide and The Sound of One Hand Clapping. He also directed the film of The Sound of One Hand Clapping.

 Dyer, served, in part, as a model for the character William Buelow Gould in his most recent novel Gould's Book of Fish. "This was, in keeping with my friendship with Mr Dyer, an act of optimism," says Flanagan.

 "I've known him for a few years," says Dyer. "The arts community in Hobart is quite small and many of us meet at the local Republic Hotel for a beer. Richard is a local celebrity without trying to be one.

 With Gould's Book of Fish, he has really hit the big time." In the past, Dyer has used backgrounds in his portraits - a darkened theatre for NIDA director John Clark, the landscape of Gallipoli for Gallipoli veteran Alec Campbell.

 "I decided for this one to cut the background out and just have some colour that reflects the West Coast of Tassie, that deep yellow mustard colour," says Dyer.

 "I wanted to get the sense of Richard as a bloke who stands up for himself. He's a tough character and he doesn't pull punches. In a fairly conservative town like Hobart, he's a breath of fresh air." 

 Recently Flanagan, along with writers including Peter Carey, withdrew from the 2003 Tasmania Pacific Literary Prize (the nation's most lucrative literary prize) in protest at the elevation of Forestry Tasmania to a major sponsor of the Tasmanian arts festival, Ten Days on the Island.

 "I thought I'm going to try and throw the fellow out of the canvas and have him question the viewer," says Dyer. "I wanted something tough rather than decorative. And that's the way I went for it."

 Born in Hobart in 1947, Dyer studied at the Tasmanian School of Art. He has exhibited regularly at galleries around Australia since1970.

 In 1998, he was part of Out of Australia, a group show seen in Shanghai and the following year was represented in Out of Australia 2000 in Hong Kong.

 He has been in the Archibald Prize on six previous occasions, the Wynne Prize eight times and was a finalist in the 1997 Sulman Prize. His work is represented in many public and private collections in Australia and overseas.

 The 2002 Archibald Winner 


Cherry Hood
Simon Tedeschi Unplugged

Angus Nivison
Remembering rain

The Trustees would like to make special mention of the work by
Tim Kyle: A small crowd

The Trustees Watercolour Prize
Noel McKenna: South Coast

Guan Wei
Gazing into deep space no. 9

The Judge, John Wolseley would like to make special mention of the work by
John Walker: The Drinkers

Mary Tonkin
Rocky Outcrop, Werribee Gorge 2000


CHERRY HOOD Simon Tedeschi Unplugged

Cherry Hood has won the 2002 Archibald Prize for her portrait, Simon Tedeschi Unplugged. The Archibald Prize is now in its 81st year. Cherry Hood receives a prize of $35,000.

It was a picture of acclaimed young Australian pianist Simon Tedeschi that first caught Cherry Hoodís eye. She went to one of his concerts, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and then asked him to sit for her. "Although I donít normally do portrait/likenesses of people, I usually paint boys or adolescent males," she says. "Simon is only 20 and he has blue eyes and the look that suits the way I make images. The eyes are always the focus of my paintings. I want them to reflect the gaze of the viewer and I prefer the way paler eyes both reflect light and have a differentiation between the pupil and iris. When I met him, it turned out that he is particularly empathetic, easy going and very sensitive artistically. He saw my work and he understood what I was doing."

Hood decided to paint him topless because, she says, "he is always portrayed in formal clothes and often with a piano as well. Images of him are usually more about his playing than about him as a person let alone him as a sensual body. Also, at that time I was finishing a series of portraits of boys for my show at Mori Gallery. Simon saw these works and agreed to pose for me in the same way. 

"It was quite easy to get him because he has strong characteristics. I think it does look like him, if not at his most rested. He keeps up a rigorous international performance schedule and lives between Sydney and London. He was suffering jet lag or in 'post concert letdown' when he sat for this painting. When he last saw the work he said, 'love the whiskers, remind me to stop over in Bangkok next time.'"

Hood attained a Master of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts in 2000. Her thesis investigated gender politics in art and cultural mores and taboos surrounding the representation of the male body. Hood has since had two solo exhibitions at Mori Gallery. Prior to this, she had countless solo and group shows at university and artist-run spaces. Her works are in many collections in Australia and overseas. Hood works in the unlikely medium of watercolour to produce her uncanny portraits, which are most frequently anonymous composites. She was a finalist in the 2001 Archibald Prize with her water colour of art lecturer Matthˇs Gerber. 

The Archibald Prize was established through the bequest of Jules Francois Archibald in 1921. It aims to encourage portraiture by supporting artists and celebrating the memory of great Australians. The Archibald Prize is judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.


The 2001 Archibald Winner 

 Nicholas Harding
John Bell as King Lear

Nicholas Harding has won the 2001 Archibald Prize for his painting John Bell as King Lear. The Archibald Prize is now in its 80th year since inception and this years winner receives a prize of $35,000.

The Trustees would also like to make special mention of the work Jackie and Kerryn by Jenny Sages.

Harding is a fan of the Bell Shakespeare Company and has seen all their productions since the company's debut. But it was their production of King Lear starring John Bell and directed by Barrie Kosky, which really fired Harding's imagination. "I sat in the front row," he says. "It was very dramatic and exciting, and John's performance was riveting."

 Harding's initial impulse was to paint Bell in character though decided to paint him as himself first and so become better acquainted with his physical form. This he did and the resulting portrait was hung in last year's Archibald. 

 Now painting Bell in character, Harding used stage lighting to highlight the form and sharp contrasts of his head. "To have him in character has allowed me to capture a more intense expression on his face. The wonderful red coat he wore as Lear has also worked well for the portrait."

 Born in London in 1956, Harding came to Australia in 1965. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1975, travelled through Europe then returned to Australia to a career as an animator, illustrator and painter. He has exhibited since 1981 with regular solo exhibitions at Rex Irwin Gallery in Sydney and a solo exhibition at Theo Waddington Fine Art in London in 1997. He has been hung in the Wynne Prize three times, the Dobell Prize for Drawing five times and in the Archibald on seven previous occasions. His portrait of Margaret Olley was highly commended in the 1998 Archibald. His work is held in various public and private collections nationally.

 The Archibald Prize was established through the bequest of Jules Francois Archibald in 1921. It aims to encourage portraiture by supporting artists and celebrating the memory of great Australians.

Judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, previous winners include artists such as William Dobell (1943) and Brett Whiteley (1976). Famous subjects of Archibald winners include 'Banjo' Paterson, Margaret Olley and Paul Keating. 

The controversial nature of the Archibald has always sparked lively debate and continues to stimulate and sustain public interest in Australian portraiture

The Archibald Prize is generously supported by the Colonial Foundation Charitable Trust.

 Archibald Prize Full Winners List
Year Artist Title 
2005 John Olsen Self portrait Janus Faced
2004 Craig Ruddy David Gulpilil, Two Worlds
2003 Geoffrey Dyer Richard Flanagan
2002 Cherry Hood Simon Tedeschi Unplugged
2001 Nicholas Harding John Bell as King Lear
Highly commended: Jenny Sages Jackie and Kerryn
2000 Adam Cullen Portrait of David Wenham

Highly commended: Jenny Sages Each morning when I wake up I put on my Mother's face + Garry Shead Sasha Grishin 
Euan MacLeod Self portrait/head like a hole
Highly commended: Adam Cullen Max Cullen
1998 Lewis Miller Portrait of Allan Mitelman No 3
1997 Nigel Thomson Barbara Blackman
1996 Wendy Sharpe Self Portrait - as Diana of Erskineville
1995 William Robinson Self Portrait with Stunned Mullet
1993/94 Francis Giacco Homage to John Reichard
1992/93 Garry Shead Tom Thompson
1991/92 Bryan Westwood The Prime Minister
1990 Geoffrey Proud Dorothy Hewett
1989 Bryan Westwood Portrait of Elwyn Lynn
1988 Fred Cress John Beard
1987 William Robinson Equestrian Self Portrait 
1986 Davida Allen Dr. John Arthur McKelvey Shera
1985 Guy Warren Flugelman with Wingman
1984 Keith Looby Max Gillies
1983 Nigel Thomson Chandler Coventry
1982 Eric Smith Peter Sculthorpe
1981 Eric Smith Rudy Komon
1980 No Award
1979 Wes Walters Portrait of Philip Adams
1978 Brett Whiteley Art, Life and the other thing
1977 Kevin Connor Robert Klippel
1976 Brett Whiteley Self Portrait in the Studio
1975 Kevin Connor The Hon. Sir Frank Kitto, K.B.E.
1974 Sam Fullbrook Jockey Norman Stephens
1973 Janet Dawson Michael Boddy 
1972 Clifton Pugh The Hon. E. G. Whitlam
1971 Clifton Pugh Sir John McEwan
1970 Eric Smith Gruzman - Architect
1969 Ray Crooke George Johnston
1968 William Pidgeon Lloyd Rees
1967 Judy Cassab Margo Lewers
1966 Jon Molvig Charles Blackman
1965 Clifton Pugh R. A. Henderson
1964 No Award
1963 J. Carrington Smith Professor James McAuley
1962 Louis Kahan Patrick White
1961 William Pidgeon Rabbi Dr. I. Porush
1960 Judy Cassab Stanislaus Rapotec
1959 William Dobell Dr. Edward MacMahon
1958 William Pidgeon Mr. Ray Walker
1957 Ivor Hele Self Portrait
1956 William Dargie Mr. Albert Namatjira
1955 Ivor Hele Robert Campbell Esq.
1954 Ivor Hele Rt. Hon. R. G. Menzies, P.C., C.H., Q.C., M.P.
1953 Ivor Hele Sir Henry Simpson Newland, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.S., F.R.C.S.
1953 Ivor Hele Sir Henry Simpson Newland, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.S., F.R.C.S.
1952 William Dargie Mr. Essington Lewis, C.H.
1951 Ivor Hele Laurie Thomas
1950 William Dargie Sir Leslie McConnan
1949 Arthur Murch Bonar Dunlop
1948 William Dobell Margaret Olley
1947 William Dargie Sir Marcus Clarke, K.B.E.
1946 William Dargie L .C. Robson, M.C., M.A.
1945 William Dargie Lt-General The Hon. Edmund Herring, K.B.C., D.S.O., M.C., E.D.
1944 Joshua Smith S. Rosevear, M.H.R., Speaker
1943 Willian Dobell Joshua Smith
1942 William Dargie Corporal Jim Gordon, V.C.
1941 William Dargie Sir James Elder, K.B.E.
1940 Max Meldrum Dr. J. Forbes McKenzie
1939 Max Meldrum The Hon. G. J. Bell, Speaker, House of Representatives
1938 Nora Heysen Mme. Elink Schuurman
1937 Normand Baker Self Portrait
1936 W. B. McInnes Dr. Julian Smith
1935 John Longstaff A. B. ('Banjo') Paterson
1934 Henry Hanke Self Portrait
1933 Charles Wheeler Ambrose Pratt
1932 Ernest Buckmaster Sir William Irvine
1931 John Longstaff Sir John Sulman
1930 W. B. McInnes Drum-Major Harry McClelland
1929 John Longstaff W. A. Holman, K.C.
1928 John Longstaff Portrait of Dr. Alexander Leeper
1927 George W. Lambert Mrs. Murdoch
1926 W. B. McInnes Silk and Lace
1925 John Longstaff Portrait of Maurice Moscovitch
1924 W. B. McInnes Portrait of Miss Collins
1923 W. B. McInnes Portrait of a Lady
1922 W. B. McInnes Professor Harrison Moore
1921 W. B. McInnes Desbrowe Annear

 Regarding the non-awarding of the Archibald Prize for 1964 and 1980
On 22 January 1965 Hal Missingham, the Director of the Gallery, announced "After careful consideration the trustees unanimously decided not to award the prize for 1964, as they felt that no submitted entry was worthy of the award. They accordingly exercised their discretion under clause 10 of the conditions." This clause allowed the Gallery not to award the prize and to use the money to purchase any portrait that had won the prize. This was the first time the clause was invoked.

In 1980 the trustees again unanimously decided that no entry was deserving of the prize.


 People's Choice Award
In the Australian Bicentennial Year of 1988, the wider public were encouraged to participate in the Archibald Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales by including the People's Choice Award.

 Only twice has the winner of the People's Choice Award been awarded to the winner of the Archibald. The first was in 1988 when Fred Cress's portrait of John Beard won both awards and in 2004 when Craig Ruddy won both prizes. The winner of the People's Choice Prize is awarded $2,500.

 The Packing Room Prize
 A side line feature of the Archibald competition is the Packing Room Prize, awarded by the workers behind the scenes who receive, unpack and hang all the entries. The Packing Room Prize was first awarded in 1991.

 Steve Peters, the Art Gallery of NSW's Storeman, adjudicates the Packing Room Prize and claims his right to 51 per cent of the votes. This prize is traditionally awarded a couple of days before the Archibald is announced, after the hanging of the finalist's portraits.

 Jules Francois Archibald
 The Archibald Prize began in 1921 with a bequest from the editor of The Bulletin magazine, Jules Francois Archibald.

 Archibald said the Prize was to be awarded by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales to 'the best portrait, preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics, painted by an artist resident in Australasia during the 12 months preceding the date fixed by the Trustees for sending in the pictures'.

 The prize aims to encourage portraiture by supporting artists and celebrating the memory of great Australians.

 Dobell's controversial 1943 Archibald win
 William Dobell's 1943 Archibald win was very controversial - many people argued that his portrait of Joshua Smith distorted Smith's features that it could not be called a portrait. William Dobell's win expanded the concept of what could be a portrait, and abstract art as well as conventional portraits have been submitted ever since.

 Famous winners and subjects
 Many famous artists have won the Archibald including Brett Whiteley, Judy Cassab, Clifton Pugh, Keith Looby, and William Dobell.
 William Dobell, winner 1943, 1948 and 1959 
 William Pidgeon, winner 1958, 1961 and 1968 
 Clifton Pugh, winner 1965, 1971 and 1972 
 Garry Shead, winner 1992/93 
 Brett Whiteley studio virtual tour, winner 1976 and 1978 
 Wendy Sharpe, winner 1996 
 Lewis Miller, winner 1998 
 Craig Ruddy, winner 2004 
 John Olsen, winner 2005 

 Famous subjects for the Archibald portraits have included Banjo Paterson, Marcus Clarke, Margaret Olley, Albert Namatjira, Patrick White, Lloyd Rees, John McEwan, Gough Whitlam, Philip Adams, and Dorothy Hewitt.

 Other art prizes
 The Archibald is not the only significant Australian art prize.

 The Wynne Prize is Australia's oldest art award, having been awarded since 1897. It is an art prize for the best landscape painting or for the best figure sculpture by an Australian artist.

The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, mural project, or genre painting by an Australian artist. Unlike the Archibald and the Wynne, which are both judged by the Art Gallery of New South Wale's Trustees, the Sulman is selected by a single artist.

 The Dobell Prize is sponsored by The Sir William Dobell Art Foundation for Drawing to encourage excellence in drawing and draughtsmanship. The 2004 Dobell Prize for Drawing is held separately later in the year.

 The Australian Photographic Portraiture Prize promotes contemporary portrait photography and excellence in all forms of still photo-based art. Held in conjunction with the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes, the winner of this Prize, which is awarded annually, receives $15,000.

 The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize carries a $100,000 first prize and is the richest portrait prize in the country. Its home is the State Library of New South Wales.

 Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award was developed from a bequest managed by Perpetual Trustees and named after the late Australian artist, Helen Lempriere, and is the richest art prize for sculptors in Australia. It is run by Robertson Art Projects Pty Ltd.

 The Macquarie Bank and The National Gallery of Australia present the National Sculpture Prize & Exhibition each year. This Prize promotes and support sculpture in Australia and recognises outstanding works. 





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