National Gallery of Australia announces a $2 M gift from the family of Australian artist Rosalie Gascoigne

18 March 2008


image: Jacqueline Mitelman 'Portrait of James Gleeson' 1997 gelatin silver photograph 40.0 x 31.0 cm National Library of Australia nla.pic-an14169107 © Jacqueline Mitelman 2008

Rosalie Gascoigne Earth 1999, painting, sawn, used varnished or painted builders form-board, gift of Ben Gascoigne AO and family 2008
© Rosalie Gascoigne. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia.

Ben Gascoigne and the family of the late Rosalie Gascoigne, one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists, have donated her last major, series Earth 1999, to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Director of the National Gallery of Australia Ron Radford said, ‘This most generous gift from Rosalie’s husband Ben Gascoigne, AO, and the Gascoigne family is significant to the National Gallery of Australia’s collection. As a Canberra artist, Rosalie was closely associated with the Gallery, and Earth is her last great creation.’

Rosalie Gascoigne was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1917 and came to Australia in 1943. In 1964 Gascoigne began making small assemblages using discarded objects she found in the paddocks surrounding her home. Towards the end of the decade her interest in art-making grew considerably and in 1974 at the age of 57, she had her first solo exhibition at the Macquarie Galleries in Canberra. Less than a decade later the distinctive strength of her art was recognised nationally and internationally, and in 1982 she was selected (with Peter Booth) to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale. Over the years, her work has attracted critical acclaim and has been acquired by all major public art institutions of the Australasian region. Rosalie Gascoigne died in Canberra in October 1999.

‘The National Gallery of Australia was very important to Rosalie and the gift is in keeping with her practice of giving it significant examples of her work’, said Ben Gascoigne, AO, husband of the late Rosalie Gascoigne.

Earth,a multi-panelled installation comprising ten works, is currently on display in the Australian Art Galleries at the NGA. The acquisition is part of the National Gallery of Australia’s 25th Anniversary Gifts Program.


For further information please contact

Jenny Blake
phone +61 2 6240 6700
mobile 0408 611 014

Petalyn Holloway
phone +61 2 6240 6431