In 1950 Geelong Gallery celebrated its jubilee, commemorating 50 years since our first exhibition opened at Geelong Town Hall in 1900.
Geelong Gallery enlisted the help of records keeper, Edith Gurr, who undertook extensive research to author an historical publication titled Jubilee History that highlighted Geelong Gallery’s development over the last 50 years.
Landscape, Alice Springs by William Frater won the 1950 J H McPhillimy Prize, and was acquired for the permanent collection alongside Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat by John D Moore and the F E Richardson Prize winning work Landscape with horseman by Ian Armstrong.
Frater’s work captures the natural colours and textures of the desert landscapes surrounding Alice Springs. In 1951 he exhibited the series to which this work belongs at Stanley Coe Gallery in Melbourne, where his work was met with great acclaim: an ‘Age’ critic praising his capacity to harness the ‘spirit or essence of an elemental landscape’ and the way his brushstrokes swept light into ‘a glowing orchestration of colour’.