Exhibition draws big crowds

CONTRIBUTED: Bendigo Art Gallery director Karen Quinlan. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

CONTRIBUTED: Bendigo Art Gallery director Karen Quinlan. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

THE Bendigo Art Gallery is gearing up to farewell another highly successful exhibition.

Gallery director Karen Quinlan estimates Genius and Ambition: The Royal Academy of Arts, London 1768–1918 will have attracted more than 40,000 visitors by the time it finishes on Monday.

"We're a little bit spoilt with the kinds of figures we've had in the past," Ms Quinlan said.

"But this is a really good result for the gallery, especially after a year with less programing.

"Grace Kelly was an extraordinary moment for us but these are certainly great figures.

"Daily, we're looking at between 800 and 1000 people which is a comfortable number.

Daily, we're looking at between 800 and 1000 people. - Karen Quinlan

"Anything larger is uncomfortable so I'm enjoying it and I think the pubic is enjoying it."

Genius and Ambition: The Royal Academy of Arts London 1786-1918 features a collection of about 100 works from The Royal Academy of Arts. 

It showcases works from renowned artists including, J.M. W. Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, John Singer Sargent, Henry Fuseli, John Everett Millais, John William Waterhouse and Sir Joshua Reynolds. 

To complement the work from the Royal Academy, 30 pieces by significant Australian artists, including Nicholas Chevalier, Tom Roberts, John Longstaff, Rupert Bunny, Arthur Streeton, E Phillips Fox and Margaret Preston, are on display. 

Ms Quinlan said 2500 people visited the gallery last weekend.

“This is great news for the gallery as we slowly resurface following our major building redevelopment," she said.

"People are delighted to see this unique international exhibition alongside our new gallery spaces and to experience everything that Bendigo has to offer.

"We have large print books for visitors to the gallery to use when they're walking through so they're reading, they're learning and they're coming out feeling that it was a very worthwhile visit.

"And they're keen to know what's next."

City of Greater Bendigo city futures director Stan Liacos, Director said audiences travelled from far and wide to see Genius and Ambition: The Royal Academy of Arts London 1786-1918.

Ticketing information indicates 45 per cent of patrons came from metropolitan Melbourne, 25 per cent from regional Victoria (other than Bendigo) and the other five per cent from interstate/ international.

“We estimate the economic impact on our community to be in excess of $3.3m which yet again reinforces how important the Bendigo Art Gallery is, not only as a cultural institution of national repute but as an economic and promotional driving force for our community," he said.

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