Tom Roberts' secret artworks now restored and on display at Royal Park



Media release – Issued Thursday 17 December 2020

The City of Launceston's Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) has welcomed back five important works by renowned artist Tom Roberts, which have returned from conservation treatment. The donated pieces have been carefully assessed, cleaned and restored by conservators to now be enjoyed publicly by visitors to the Art Gallery at Royal Park.

General Manager of Creative Arts and Cultural Services, Tracy Puklowski, invited the community to view the restored works. "These artworks are beautiful examples of early Australian impressionist paintings. Until recently, four of the five oil paintings were undocumented in Tom Roberts' catalogue of works, making them a significant discovery that will strengthen the collective understanding of the school of impressionist art. We are so grateful to have these works donated to our collection and to now share them with our community", Ms Puklowski said.

English-born Tom Roberts immigrated to Australia in 1869 with his 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 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 to join QVMAG's existing collection of works by Tom Roberts and are listed as follows:

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

The works are scheduled to be part of the Art Gallery Rehang to be completed mid-year 2021.

QVMAG invites visitors to view the restored works in Gallery 8, alongside four new Summer Season exhibitions (Nest, Lost Landscapes, Skin and Herself) at the Art Gallery at Royal Park.