Collection

Collection
Photo / Ancher House: Photo - Adam Hollingworth

Originating as a bequest in 1978, the Penrith Regional Gallery Collection consists of over 1600 objects, primarily featuring paintings, sculptures, works on paper and photography. It was Margo Lewers’ wish that her former home and artwork collection be given to the people of Penrith. This ambition was honoured by her daughters Darani Lewers and Tanya Crothers and the Penrith Regional Gallery was officially opened in 1981.

Gerald and Margo Lewers were actively involved in the development of the visual arts, particularly within the Sydney art scene, and keenly interested in the development of modern art practice. The Penrith Regional Gallery continues to acquire works in areas that reflect, explore and critique the practices, histories, interests and philosophic commitments of Gerald and Margo Lewers, their contemporaries and Modernism.

The Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest Collection includes:

  • Paintings
  • Works on paper
  • Works on fabric
  • Sculpture
  • Aboriginal rock engravings
  • Furniture and soft furnishings
  • Books, publications, photographs and printed ephemera

Donations of artworks and/or relevant ephemera material that meet the Penrith Regional Gallery Acquisition Policy are welcome. For further information please contact the Gallery:

Phone: 02 4735 1100

Email: gallery@penrith.city


Building the Collection

Following the original Lewers Bequest the Collection continues to grow through the generosity of the many who donate. Donations include:

  • Hawker Gift. Various works. Gift of Michael and Jill Hawker
  • Dance of the Dervishes. George Gittoes. Gift of Mike Betar
  • James Cant Gift. Various Artworks. Gift of Mrs. Barbara Otton
  • Sonia Farley Gift. 43 works by Sonia Farley. Gift of Mr. David Farley
  • Robin Gurr Collection – Indigenous and Non-Indigenous works. Gift of Ms. Robin Gurr
  • Arthur McIntyre Collection. 20 works by Arthur McIntyre. Gift of the Estate of Arthur McIntyre
  • Bull 2002. Michael Kempson. Print. Gift of the Artist
  • Untitled 2002. Cherry Hood. Print. Gift of the Artist
  • Untitled 2006. Melinda Harper. Acrylic on canvas. Gift of the Artist
  • STILL LIFE (natura mortua). Margaret West. Sculptural installation. Gift of the Artist
  • Unreal Rock: Photos of Jacques L’Affrique (David Porter). 290 Photographic series. Gift of the Artist
  • Tracksuits of St Marys 2007. Harold David. Photographic series (90 works). Gift of the Artist
  • Aussie Aiga 2008 Greg Semu. Photographic series. 17 works. Gift of the Artist
  • I split your gaze 1997. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Proselytiser 2002. Brook Andrew. Donation Private Collection
  • Against all odds 2005. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Black & White SPECIAL CUT 2005. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Blackblack 2005. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Frontier Lights 2005. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Flying Fox 2006. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Owl 2006. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Parrot 2006. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Possum 2006. Brook Andrew. Gift of the Artist
  • Super Concentrated Dream Fever 2003. Justene Williams. 21 works. Gift of the Artist
  • Strippers 1998. Justene Williams. 3 works. Gift of the Artist
  • Night Travellers 1971. Dusan Marek. Gift of James Agapitos and Ray Wilson
  • In the Water Pool 1983. Dusan Marek. Gift of James Agapitos and Ray Wilson
  • Homage to the Sun #7 and #48 1984. Dusan Marek. Gift of James Agapitos and Ray Wilson
  • Untitled (7). Undated. Dusan Marek. Gift of James Agapitos and Ray Wilson
New Acquisitions

The Gallery has continued to build its Collections through the generosity of collectors and artist through the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gifts Programme. Recent Gifts include:

  • Indigenous Baskets (Robin Gurr Collection)
  • Deborah Kelly
  • George Gittoes
  • Bill Henson
  • Tracey Moffatt
  • Luke Sciberras
  • Susan Norrie
Robin Gurr - Gift of Indigenous Artworks

Since 2010 philanthropist Robin Gurr has gifted numerous Aboriginal artworks to the PRG&TLB Collection. In recognition of her ongoing genrosity the Gallery created the Robin Gurr Collection within its larger Collection. Often gathered on trips to remote locations, these artworks offer a glimpse into a range of diverse Aboriginal artistic practices. The artists, as custodians of their traditional land, use a variety of mediums to document their stories of tribe, clan, language and country. Artists include: Butcher Cherel, Dolly Nanpijinpa Daniels, Weaver Jack, Lily Karadada, Lorraine Connelly Northey, Ashley Scobie, Bessie Nakamarra Sims, Patrick Smith, Jujuka Dolly Snell, George Tjungurrayi, Maryanne Tungatalum, Susan Wanji Wanji, Linus Warlapinni and Pedro Wonaeamirri.

These works highlight the Gallery’s ongoing commitment to celebrating through collection and exhibition Aboriginal art and culture. The oldest artworks in the Gallery Collection are found in the Gallery garden. Gerald Lewers, when working with Farley and Lewers instigated the rescue of two large Aboriginal rock engravings from the path of the Manly Warringah Freeway construction zone. They were relocated to the Gallery garden in 1961. The actions of Gerald Lewers saved them from certain destruction. Records for these works and their significance exist with the Australian Museum and NSW Aboriginal Land Council.

Collection - List of artists
  • Harold Abbott
  • Helene Allard
  • Brook Andrew
  • Douglas Annand
  • Tetsuo Aoki
  • Dan Arps
  • Jean Appleton
  • Yvonne Audette
  • Sydney Ball
  • Ralph Balson
  • Syd Barron
  • Drew Bickford
  • Charles Blackman
  • Nancy Borlase
  • Daniel Boyd
  • Alistair Brass
  • Joan Brassil
  • Jean Burke
  • James Cant
  • Charlene Carrington
  • Judy Cassab
  • Dora Chapman
  • Butcher Cherel
  • Nadine Christensen
  • John Coburn
  • Anna Cohn
  • Lorraine Connelly Northey
  • Kevin Connor
  • C. Coppard
  • Thalia Coulter
  • Lyndon Dadswell
  • Arthur Dallimore
  • Greg Daly
  • Dolly Nampijinpa Daniels
  • Harold David
  • Errol Davis
  • Stan de Teliga
  • Destiny Deacon
  • Virginia Fraser
  • Christopher Dean
  • Shay Docking
  • Adrienne Doig
  • George Duncan
  • Max Dupain
  • Margery Edwards
  • Oscar Edwards
  • Ricky Emmerton
  • Sonia Farley
  • Grant and Mary Featherstone
  • Jutta Feddersen
  • Cao Fei
  • Maximilian Feuerring
  • George Finey
  • John Firth-Smith
  • Bert Flugelman
  • Roy Fluke
  • Warwick Fuller
  • Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr
  • Rosalie Gascoigne
  • Marea Gazzard
  • Hector Gilliland
  • George Gittoes
  • April Glaser-Hinder
  • Tom Gleghorn
  • Bruce Goold
  • Elizabeth Gordon
  • Dennis Grafton
  • Denise Green
  • Robert Grieve
  • Paul Haefliger
  • Stacha Halpern
  • Roy Fluke
  • Barbara Hanrahan
  • Melinda Harper
  • Edmund Harvey
  • John Henshaw
  • Sali Herman
  • Bernard Hesling
  • Leonard Hessing
  • Roma Hilder
  • Bim Hilder
  • Adam Hill
  • Daryl Hill
  • Frank Hinder
  • Margel Hinder
  • Bill Henson
  • Frank Hodgkinson
  • Irvine Homer
  • Cherry Hood
  • Paul Hopmeier
  • Edgar Hubert
  • Brian Farmer Illortaminni
  • Geoffrey Ireland
  • Jean Isherwood
  • Weaver Jack
  • Mimi Jaksic-Berger
  • Louis James
  • Col Jordan
  • Philip Juster
  • Peter Kaiser
  • Lorna Kantilla
  • Lily Karadada
  • Ash Keating
  • Patricia Kelk-Graham
  • Deborah Kelly
  • Michael Kempson
  • Inge King
  • Michael Kitching
  • Michael Kmit Kovel
  • Eva Kubbos
  • Lou Lambert
  • Ron Lambert
  • Colin Lanceley
  • Freda Yimunya Lane
  • Peter Laverty
  • Helen Lempriere
  • Darani Lewers
  • Gerald Lewers
  • Margo Lewers
  • Elwyn Lynn
  • Jacques L’Affrique
  • Tiny McCale
  • Sheila McDonald
  • Arthur McIntyre
  • Ian McKay
  • Patricia Marrfurra McTaggart
  • William Mansell
  • Dusan Marek
  • Rodney Milgate
  • Tracey Moffatt
  • Estelle Munkanome
  • Inyuwa Nampitjinpa
  • Tjunkiya Napaltjarri
  • Mitjili Napurrula
  • John Nicholson
  • Susan Norrie
  • Catherine O’Donnell
  • John Ogburn
  • John Olsen
  • Desiderius Orban
  • Raquel Ormella
  • Greg Orsto
  • Selina Ou
  • Robert Klippel
  • Wendy Paramor
  • Wilfred S. Partridge
  • Marika Patrick
  • Errol Peisley
  • Patricia Piccinini
  • Jon Plapp
  • Adolph Plate
  • Carl Plate
  • Glenys Porter
  • Lutz Presser
  • Jock Puautjimi
  • Nina Puruntatameri
  • Sheila Puruntatameri
  • Stanislaus Rapotec
  • Redback Press
  • Lloyd Rees
  • Ken Reinhard
  • Berris Richardson
  • Ron Roberston-Swann
  • Sally Robinson
  • Colin Rose
  • William Rose
  • Joan Ross
  • Kenneth Rowell
  • Peter Rushforth
  • Henry Salkauskas
  • Luke Sciberras
  • Ashley Scobie
  • Greg Semu
  • Martin Sharp
  • Ralph Shelly
  • Gordon Shepherdson
  • Ian Smith
  • Bessie Nakamarra Sims
  • Renee Sintenis
  • John Skeaping
  • Eric Smith
  • Patrick Smith
  • Jujuka Dolly Snell
  • Cathy Staughton
  • Frances Stingemore
  • Ricky Swallow
  • Michael Taylor
  • Myra Ann Tipiloura
  • David Tipuamantunirri
  • Conrad Tipungwuti
  • Charlie Ward Tjakamarra
  • Yukultji Napangati
  • George Tjungurrayi
  • Vernon Treweeke
  • Tony Tuckson
  • Maryanne Tungatalum
  • Peter Upward
  • Leon Urbonas
  • Milan Vojsk
  • Stephen Walker
  • Craig Walsh
  • Josh Raymond
  • Regina Walter
  • Susan Wanji Wanji
  • Linus Warlapinni
  • Guy Warren
  • Margaret West
  • Justene Williams
  • Pedro Wonaeamirri
  • Alleyne Zander
  • Reinis Zusters
Conservation

The Gallery’s conservation action plan identifies works for priority conservation. The Gallery acknowledges the contribution of The Friends of Penrith Regional Gallery & the Lewers Bequest in this undertaking. Since 2003 the following works have been conserved:

  • Darani Lewers. Downpipe c. 1964: fcAn outstanding example of artist Darani Lewers metalwork and sculptural practice is Downpipe c 1964. Functioning as a downpipe, it is fitted at the front face of the Ancher House building.As part of the 2005 Gallery capital works program, the Downpipe was removed and conserved.Following the theft of the Gerald Lewers fountain in 2008, Downpipe was again removed, for security reasons, being reinstated after the upgrades of garden security in late 2009. Its reinstallation to the garden in 2009 was compromised by storm damage to the Ancher House roof. Its repositioning matches as near as possible to its original site.
  • Margo Lewers, Triptych c1970
  • Margo Lewers, Orchestra c1960
  • Margo Lewers Interior c1965
  • Margo Lewers Corkwall

An outstanding feature of the Ancher House Lounge/Living area is Margo Lewers’ Corkwall (Cupboard and display unit). As part of the Gallery’s 2006 capital works,the Corkwall was identified for restoration and relocation to achieve better visitor access and improved visibility. The relocation was recommended by project architects Peddle Thorpe and Walker and approved by the capital works project control team.

In 2010 the ‘Corkwall’ underwent full conservation treatment by conservator Catherine Lillico-Thompson.

This beautiful piece of Modernist design is greatly admired by mid-century architectural enthusiasts.

  • Margo Lewers Landscape c1967
  • Margo Lewers Mosaic

The Margo Lewers ‘Wall Mosaic’ (originally sited adjacent to the entrance of Lewers House) was relocated as part of the Gallery’s 2005 Capital Works program in order to accommodate a new Disability access ramp.

This program was approved by Penrith City Council’s Disability consultative group and the capital works project control team. The new site for the mosaic was chosen by the project architect Mr. Andrew Andersons, premised on achieving an aesthetic dialogue between the mosaic, the Gerald Lewers ‘Pelican Birdbath’ and succulent garden in the Lewers House courtyard.

The mosaic was cleaned and conserved prior to relocation. The Wall Mosaic signals Margo Lewers’ abiding interest in South-East Asian art and design.

  • Margo Lewers Mural, 1970

The wall mural was painted by Margo Lewers in 1970 and its location on the verandah area of the Lewers House Gallery has posed some particular challenges. Due to aging and exposure to the natural elements, the timber forming the framework along the upper edge became weathered and resulted in the mural becoming exposed to moisture, resulting in paint flaking.

A preliminary report by conservator Catherine Lillico-Thompson (Lillico-Thompson Conservation) in late 2009 revealed that the mural was generally sound. The mural was, however, painted on two distinct surfaces with most of the mural painted onto a cement rendered brick surface, but the top section painted onto a sheet of masonite.

In early 2010 Catherine Lillico-Thompson was engaged to undertake conservation work on the mural. Treatment has included the attachment of new flashing to the back of the tank stand to replace the damaged wood, the loose paint flakes were consolidated and readhered to the mural and the surface area was cleaned and finished with an application of varnish. A new plexiglass cover and secure frame has been attached over the mural to assist in protecting the work from natural matter, such as leaves, dust and spider webs.

  • Gerald Lewers Pelican Birdbath c1950

The ‘Pelican Birdbath’, created by Gerald Lewers in 1947, was generously gifted to the Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest Collection by Mrs H. Barnett in 1985. The Pelican Birdbath is one of the Gallery’s most popular exhibits.

In 2008, following Conservation advice, it was relocated from the garden to a protected verandah area adjacent to other works by Gerald Lewers.

In 2015-16, the Friends of Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest supported the further conservation of the Pelican Birdbath (cleaning and waterproofing treatments).

  • Gerald Lewers Seated Figure c1950
  • Paul Hopmeier. Three Wise Men 1982: rf
  • ‘Bim’ Hilder. The Bridge Concrete (no date): rf
  • Roy Fluke. Untitled (no date): rf
  • Arthur Dallimore. After Christmas c.1978: rf
  • Ron Robertson-Swann. Ascension 1975: fc
  • Wendy Paramor. Alpha II 1968: c
  • Elwyn Lynn. Herculaneun 1961: c
  • Ralph Balson. Construction Element 1944: fc
  • John Olsen. Child’s Fifth Birthday 1957: fc/rf
  • Elwyn Lynn. Cliffs at Fall c. 1961: fc/rf
  • Desiderius Orban. Scyll and Charybis 1976: fc
  • Carl Plate. Anachronistic Segments 1960 – 1963: fc/rf
  • Stanislaus Rapotec. Black Phite 1960: fc/rf
  • Stanislaus Rapotec. Untitled 1968: fc/rf
  • Henry Salkauskus. Untitled 1964: c/rf
  • Henry Salkauskus. Untitled 1961: c/rf
  • Henry Salkauskus. Untitled 1961: c/rf
  • Tony Tuckson. # 13 c. 1959: fc/rf
  • Peter Upward July 10th 1961: c/rf
  • Peter Upward. Untitled (Abstract) 1963: fc
  • Peter Upward. Untitled 1960: fc
  • Leon Urbonas. Edge 1965: c/rf
  • Guy Warren. Untitled 1966: c/rf
  • Guy Warren. The Clearing III 1965: c/rf
  • Reinis Zusters. Low Tide 1980: c/rf
  • Harold Abbott. Flight 1971: c/rf
  • Harold Abbott. Abstract 1975: c/rf
  • Ralph Balson. The Construction…Transparent Planes 1942: fc/rf
  • Mimi Jaksic Berger. Marquesus Feast 1967: fc/rf
  • Mimi Jaksic Berger. Tasmania Afire 1967: fc/rf
  • Nancy Borlase. Blue Centre 1960: fc/rf
  • Kevin Connor. Officer in the Wilderness 1962: c/rf
  • Shay Docking. Glass House Mountains Work III 1963: c/rf
  • Roy Fluke. Night 1953: c/rf
  • Thomas Gleghorn. The Sacrifice – The Firebird 1959: c/rf
  • Paul Haefliger. The Dancer 1970: c/rf
  • Leonard Hessing. The Indifferent Mechanism 1960: c/rf
  • Frank Hodgkinson. Abstract No 17 1958: c/rf
  • Louis James. Paleolithic 1963: c/rf
  • Michael Kitching. Spanish Dancer 1962: c/rf
  • Eva Kubos. Coast 1968: c/rf
  • Eva Kubos. Untitled: c/rf
  • Peter Laverty. Wet Night City 1959: c/rf
  • Yvonne Audette. Dream of an Ancient Tablet: fc/rf
  • Lyndon Dadswell, Untitled, 1960: c

Conservation programs have been carried out by Mr. Geoffrey Major (former Head of Conservation for the National Gallery of Australia); M/s. Catherine Lillico-Thompson and International Conservation Services; Ross Peck Framing.

Key to terms: fc – full conservation; rf – re-framed; c – cleaned

Policies

Central to Collection conservation, care and development has been the endorsement and implementation of the following policies (all which enshrine the importance and acknowledgement of the original Lewers Bequest).

Storage Facilities

Since 2003 the Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest Collections are stored in a purpose built, air-conditioned, climate controlled and secure storage facility, which includes:

  • Back to base security monitoring and controls
  • Sliding and wheel mounted painting hanging racks
  • Shelving for small/medium paintings and sculptures
  • Storage trellis for large/heavy sculpture
  • Non-combustible storage for volatile photographic plates/negatives
  • Photo media documentation in conservation boxes on storage shelves
  • Works on paper, textiles and ceramics in appropriate storage.
Modernist Research Centre

A program of Collection based exhibitions is to be found in the Modernist Research Centre (Ancher House) which forms part of the ongoing research into the Modernist History of the site and Collection.

The Modernist Research Centre regularly hosts Postgraduate Interns from the University of Sydney Art Curating and Museum and Heritage Studies, and from UNSW Art and Design.

Works from the Collection are available for institutional loan and tours. Recent Collection loans include:

  • Call of the Avant-Garde Constructivism and Australian Art 2017, Heide Museum of Modern Art
  • Visions of Utopia 2016-2017, Wollongong Art Gallery
  • SYDNEY 6: Hinders Lewers Plates Abstract artists, friends, partners, siblings, 1940s-1970s, 2015, Newcastle Art Gallery
  • Sydney Moderns: art for a new world, 2013, Art Gallery of NSW

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