Rockhampton Museum of Art is a place to come home to. Placed alongside Tunuba (Fitzroy River), with Nurim (Mount Archer) in the distance, these landmarks shape Darumbal Country which our museum stands on today.
This is the home of a nationally significant painting collection, which was acquired in the 1970s in an acquisition bender, driven by then Mayor of Rockhampton, Rex Pilbeam. An astute alderman, he capitalised on a dollar for dollar fundraising scheme managed by the unsuspecting Australia Council to raise funds to build an enviable regional art collection. Here was a city and its people prepared to invest in modern art as a demonstration of social innovation and civic pride.
Pilbeam set the benchmark, and his energy and passion has carried through to the present day, where generous locals continue to support the acquisition of contemporary painting. There is a conviction to this cultural prowess, and residents have long made this collection a home for the stories of Rockhampton and with an eye on the rest of the country.
Welcome Home, the first exhibition in the new Rockhampton Museum of Art, promises to excite, engage and captivate all those who visit.
John Rigby (1922 – 2012), Poetic night (detail) 1976, oil on canvas, 106 x 120 cm
Purchased through the Art Acquisition Fund, with assistance from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council 1976 © Courtesy of the Family of John Thomas Rigby