Modernist Research Centre

Modernist Research Centre
Photo / Ancher House: Photo - Adam Hollingworth

Ancher House – Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest

Modernist Research Centre

The Modernist Research Centre (MRC) is focused on the history of art practice with a particular focus on 1930s-1970s modernism. The Centre is founded on a selection of art, books, ephemera, catalogues and journals originating from the personal collection of modernist artists, Margo and Gerald Lewers, bequeathed in 1979. The MRC also provides access to the permanent Collection of modernist works by Margo and Gerald Lewers and their contemporaries working within the Sydney moderns art scene. At the core of the collection are a number of works from the post WW2 era, with a particular focus on Sydney Moderns and Abstractionists.

For access to the Collection for the purposes of research please download PRG&TLB Collection Access and Non-Public Spaces Form and return to

The Gallery established the MRC to support and maximise awareness of the Collection and to generate research. The aim of The MRC is to reduce the distance between, the Collection, the Gallery and the public, by furthering the knowledge and understanding of the arts through its resources, including the Collection and library, research and public programs, exhibitions and publications.

Source material includes primary and secondary books, periodicals, and auction catalogues.

Special collection
  • sketch books
  • personal photos / glass plate negatives
  • correspondence
  • catalogues
  • Archives
Artists’ files
  • Exhibition files
  • Photos
New Acquisitions include
  • Sonia Farley Dining Table
  • Carl Plate works on paper
  • Frank Hinder works on paper
  • James Cant archive

Research Program

The Modernist Research Centre welcomes scholars, curators, artists, and other cultural figures from around the world to visit and / or work in residence. It is expected that visitors will pursue their own research projects, make use of the PP&VA collections and contribute to the growth of scholarship around issues pertinent to modernism.

Research Projects at PP&VA support the development of new scholarship, primarily based on the Penrith Regional Gallery’s commitment to issues of modernism, with a focus on, but not limited to, the 1930s to 1970s period.

In addition to supporting new scholarship, the research program aims to disseminate results to an international scholarly audience, connect Gallery staff with visiting scholars and develop partnerships.