|The Archibald Prize|
Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is Australia’s foremost portraiture prize. The Archibald Prize awards $100,000 prize money for the winning artist.
In its 96th year, the Archibald Prize has been held annually since 1921. An open competition, the Archibald Prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Entries to the Archibald Prize must be painted in the past year from at least one live sitting.
Finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on a year-long regional tour. In the early years, all entries were hung.
THE PACKING ROOM PRIZE & ANZ PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDEntries in the Archibald Prize are eligible to be considered for the Packing Room Prize valued at $1,500 in 2017 and the ANZ People’s Choice award valued at $3,500.
The Packing Room Prize was first awarded in 1991 and is chosen by the gallery staff who receive, unpack and hang the entries. However, 51 per cent of the vote goes to the head of the packing room, Steve Peters.
The ANZ People’s Choice Prize was first awarded in 1988 and is voted for by members of the public visiting the Archibald exhibition.
THE HISTORYThe prize was established from a bequest by Jules Francois Archibald, the founding editor of The Bulletin magazine.
Archibald was a passionate supporter of a distinctly Australian style of nationalism, journalism and the arts. In establishing the prize his aim was to foster portraiture as well as support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians. JF Archibald died in 1919 at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst, with the first Archibald Prize being staged two years after his death.
According to Archibald’s will – held in the Art Gallery of New South Wales archive – the Archibald Prize is to be awarded annually to the best portrait ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’. Portraits must have been painted in the previous year from at least one live sitting with the artist.
More information here: artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prizes/archibald