The Geelong print prize series began in 1962, when it was named the Mayor of Geelong prize.
The recipient in this first year was Daryl Carnahan for his work Landscape with plough. The prize was judged by Australian landscape and portrait artist, Laurence Scott Pendlebury.
This is considered to be the first prize for contemporary printmaking staged by an Australian public gallery, and it attracted artists from all over the country. The Geelong print prize series ran until 1974, with many iconic artists and judges participating. At one stage Geelong Gallery considered hosting an international print prize.