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City of Ballarat Community Magazine December 2011
Below: Portrait of Janet Drummond by John MacLaren Barclay, before and after its
Adopt an Artwork restoration.
Bringing Back the Best
Visitors to the Art Galler y of Ballarat can view some prized works from its
remarkable collection at their very best, thanks to the Adopt an Artwork
This ver y successful scheme attracts corporate and individual sponsorship
to restore Gallery artworks. In the past three years almost $300,000 has
been raised for the conservation of works of art, all available for public
The latest Adopt an Artwork project was the conservation of a pair of portraits
of a farmer and his wife, John Wanliss and Janet Drummond of Abernethy,
near Perth in Scotland.
The portraits have been identified by the Perth Museum and Art Gallery in
Scotland as being the work of John MacLaren Barclay, who was a member
of the Scottish Royal Academy.
While the portraits’ subjects never came to Australia, their son, Thomas
Drummond Wanliss, emigrated to Australia in 1851 and played a significant
role in Ballarat’s early histor y. He was the founder and long-time editor
of the Ballarat Star newspaper and briefly a member of Victoria’s colonial
When the paintings were donated to the Art Gallery of Ballarat by a
descendant in 2005, they were in ver y poor condition and were held in
storage pending conservation treatment. Recent donations to the Adopt
an Artwork program have enabled them to be restored and they are now on
regular display in the Oddie Galler y, which showcases the Galler y collection
of 19th centur y British and European works.
The Galler y is keen to see more artworks restored and has identified the
next group of paintings that it is putting up for “adoption”. For information
about Adopt an Artwork, call the Gallery at 5320 5858.
Guiding at the Gallery
Would you like to join a group of 30 enthusiastic volunteers who guide
visitors through the Art Galler y of Ballarat?
Gallery guides receive a thorough training in Australian art and opportunities
to build their understanding and appreciation of art, to study the Gallery’s
collection and to join other guides on regular visits and special tours of
other regional galleries.
There are also exciting opportunities to meet artists and receive invitations
to openings of special exhibitions and floor talks by artists or curators.
The Gallery’s guides group was formed more than 25 years ago and
has escorted thousands of visitors and groups through the Galler y’s
Guided tours of the Galler y are offered Wednesday to Sunday at 2pm, and
special tours are scheduled at the request of group organisers and bus
companies. Each guide is rostered to lead a tour once or twice a month
on a suitable day.
An artistic background is not essential to become a Gallery guide but it’s
important to have a love of art, a willingness to learn and a commitment
to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors from Australia and
overseas in a relaxed and friendly way.
Guides find they make new friends by becoming part of a group of friendly
people with similar interests and enjoy the social activities organised by
the Guides Committee.
Selection as a Gallery Guide is on the basis of an interview with the Guides
Committee, which will take place in early February.
For more information, call Gallery Guides Convenor Ollie Fraser at 5331
5623 by Friday 16 December.
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