About the Arts Centre

Southern entrance to the Arts Centre

Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre is located on the New England Highway three hours drive northwest of Sydney and roughly two hours from Newcastle. The town of Muswellbrook lies in the Upper Hunter region among a diverse rural and industrial economy encompassing coal mining, farming, vineyards, energy generation and the horse industry.

Established in 1976

The gallery was housed in a purpose-built annex attached to the Muswellbrook School of Arts. Following several permutations the gallery eventually moved to temporary accommodation in 1999 while a redevelopment of the School of Arts building was undertaken to convert it to a modern regional gallery. Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre was commissioned in July 2000 at a cost of more than $1,700,000.

From "School of Arts" to "Regional Arts Centre"

Download the below brochure to discover more about the history of the building, built in 1871, that is currently housing Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre.

History of the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre Building

Services of the Arts Centre

Recommended parking near railway station, William Street, or car park located behind Bridge Street shopping strip.

Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre presents travelling exhibitions, local exhibitions and art prizes (including the biennial Muswellbrook Open Art Prize), along with periodic selections from the Max Watters and Shire Collections.

Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre manages a large permanent collection, which was originally founded through the Art Prize in the late 1950s.

Astute adjudication of the prize over the years has provided the local community with an excellent cross-section of mid 20th century Australian art. The Shire Collection was complemented during the early 1990s when local art collector Max Watters began to loan his collection of Australian art to the community.

This process was formalised in March 2004 through a major bequest of over 300 works by Max Watters. The Max Watters Collection spans about 40 years of mid to late 20th century Australian art representing major developments in this period through the work of artists such as: John Perceval, Grace Cossington-Smith, Ken Whisson, Charles Blackman, Jon Plapp, Danila Vassilieff, Euan Macleod, Imants Tillers and Tony Tuckson.