Hamilton Victoria

Hamilton Art Gallery

Hamilton Art Gallery is one of the finest galleries in Australia. It is famous for its outstanding collection of fine and decorative arts. Silver, glass and porcelain, oriental ceramics, furniture, paintings and prints are featured in six modern galleries. Many of the treasures came from the gracious country homesteads around Hamilton, the first area of pastoral settlement in Victoria.

A bequest to the City of Hamilton of an impressive collection of art works by a local grazier, Herbert Buchanan Shaw, allowed Hamilton Art Gallery to first open its doors in October 1961.


Herbert and his wife May were noted collectors and, during their lifetime, established a magnificent art collection. On his death in 1957, Herbert bequested almost 800 items and £6,000 so an art gallery could be built to house his extensive collection of Oriental and European Ceramics, glass and silver, tapestries, objects d’art, paintings and prints.

The collection has now grown to 8,000 objects through bequests, acquisitions and gifts and includes fine international examples of 19th and 20th Century decorative arts and a growing collection of paintings and prints including Australian art.

The Gaussen collection of paintings by Paul Sandby (1731-1809), considered to be the ‘father of English watercolour’, is unrivalled in Australia and second to the Queen’s collection at Windsor Castle. Still in their original frames they are displayed in an elegant recreation of an English drawing room with William Morris wallpaper.


Indian and Nepalese artefacts and outstanding oriental ceramics from the major dynasties are on permanent display in the Barber Gallery.

Australian paintings include important colonial art of the Western District by Louis Buvelot, ‘Wannon Falls’, Thomas Clark, ‘Muntham’ and Nicholas Chevalier, ‘Mt Abrupt’ painted soon after pastoral settlement. Recent artists represented include Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Justin O’Brien, John Olsen, Tim Storrier, Howard Arkley, Tim Maguire and Kathleen Petyarre.

William Hogarth (1697-1764) is represented in our extensive print collection by his well known satirical suites of amusing moral tales.

Hamilton is an important cultural and education centre. The Gallery’s unique collection offers a stimulating experience for all visitors and is an excellent resource for students of art and history.  The permanent collection is complemented with a program of temporary exhibitions.


Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 10am to 5pm
Saturday:              10am  to 12 noon and 2pm to 5pm
Sunday:                  2pm to 5pm 

Closed: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Contact the Gallery for opening hours on other public holidays.

Free entry

Guided Tours are available by appointment

Wheelchair access. A courtesy wheelchair is available