In May 1900, the Geelong Art Gallery Association was given permission to hang works of art on three walls inside the Geelong Town Hall.
They hung 68 works in total. The National Gallery of Victoria loaned nine works (the most substantial contribution to the exhibition), including George Frederick Folingsby's First meeting between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (1879), Louis Buvelot's Summer evening, Templestowe (1866), Eleanor Bell's Grandma's reading lesson (c. 1800), and David Wilkie's Wynfield Death of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (1871).
On 31 May 1900, the formal opening of the Geelong Art Gallery took place at the Town Hall with Mayor William Picken Carr officially declaring Geelong Gallery open to the public.
Despite not yet having a dedicated space, this exhibition marked an important step for Geelong Gallery's future development.