Artworks by celebrated Australian artist uncovered in Tasmania

 Media release – Thursday 21 November 2019

Previously unknown works by renowned artist Tom Roberts have been donated to the City of Launceston's Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery where they'll be on display until conservation works begin early next year.

The collection of five works is a marvellous example of early Australian impressionist painting that QVMAG proudly welcomes to our collection. Up until now, four of the five oil paintings were undocumented in Tom Roberts' catalogue of work, making them a significant discovery that will strengthen our understanding of this school of visual art.

English-born Tom Roberts immigrated to Australia in 1869 with this mother and two siblings. Roberts studied painting at the National Gallery School in Melbourne and his subsequent iconic landscape works were often inspired by visits to Tasmania. Roberts, an admirer of fellow artist, John Glover, captured beach scenes, bush compositions and sweeping mountain ranges from across the state.

Roberts met his wife, Lillie in Launceston and the couple married in 1896. Following Lillie's death in 1928, a bereft Roberts returned to Tasmania. He remarried and in his final years produced the works which have been kindly donated to QVMAG's Visual Arts and Design collection.

The paintings join QVMAG's existing collection of works by Tom Roberts and are listed below:

  • Pelargoniums 1930 oil on canvas
  • Unknown 1922 oil on canvas
  • Woodlands 1926 oil on canvas
  • Farm, Mt Roland, Tasmania 1930 oil on canvas
  • Unknown 1930 oil on canvas

The paintings have been on display for most of their lives, therefore require specialist care to ensure they can be enjoyed for many generations to come. Early next year, each piece will be carefully assessed, cleaned and restored by conservationists. We invite the community to view the works in their current state before they are taken off display for treatment.

The Tom Roberts exhibition will be on show in the Corner Gallery at our Royal Park site until March 2020.