The Burnie Regional Art Gallery Collection

Brett Whiteley, View of the Garden, 1977, lithograph on paper, ed. 28/7, 76 cm x 57 cm, from the print collection of the Burnie Regional Art Gallery

Brett Whiteley, View of the Garden, 1977, lithograph on paper, ed. 28/7, 76 cm x 57 cm, from the print collection of the Burnie Regional Art Gallery

The Burnie Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) opened to the public on August 12, 1978. By May 1980, an acquisition policy was adopted to acquire the finest examples available in the fields of drawing, printmaking, photography, watercolour and gouache painting. Today, and from that visionary policy, BRAG houses a nationally significant permanent art collection with a focus on paper in recognition of the region’s history of papermaking.

BRAG is operated and maintained by the Burnie City Council and supported by our corporate partners, the Friends of Burnie Regional Art Gallery and assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts. A combination of good management by Council and the continued generosity and commitment of the community has resulted in a gallery of longevity and purpose. As a public art gallery, we do three main things: manage the art collection, present exhibitions and, together with the other members of the Precinct, provide the cultural heartbeat of the City.

Collection management means that we take care of the permanent art collection: its physical care (storage, insurance and conservation) and by providing research, identification, cataloguing and interpretation. This happens behind the scenes and is carried out to best practice standards. In 2007 the establishment of the biennial Burnie Print Prize confirmed Burnie as a printmaking hub and the acquisitive prize remains one Australia’s richest for printmaking. Through competitions, judicious purchases and donations, the collection has grown to over 1000 artworks with a large portion as prints: etching, silkscreen, collograph, lithography and, more recently, digital print. BRAG also collects artwork in other media by contemporary Australian artists and particularly Tasmanian artists.

BRAG is a registered recipient of the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.