William Robinson Gallery
Housed in the graceful setting of Old Government House on QUT's Gardens Point campus in Brisbane's central business district, the William Robinson Gallery opened to the public on 27 August 2009. Honouring the life and work of this distinguished contemporary Australian painter and QUT alumnus, the Gallery houses the William Robinson Collection, temporary exhibitions and an archive focusing on Robinson's art.
QUT is Robinson's alma mater where he studied from 1957-62 at Brisbane's Central Technical College, an early forerunner of the University's Gardens Point campus. His appointment as an art instructor and subsequently as a lecturer in art at various QUT predecessor institutions continued until 1989, when he resigned from teaching to work full time as an artist. Robinson's extensive links with the University as a student and senior arts educator were augmented by the award of an honorary doctorate in 1998 and by his role as a major benefactor during the last ten years.
Celebrating his 75th birthday in 2011, Robinson has been making art since the 1960s. His artistic journey has been measured and notable, with national recognition occurring from the late 1980s. With the award of two of Australia's most prestigious art prizes – the Archibald Prize for portraiture in 1987 and 1995 and the Wynne prize for landscape painting in 1990 and 1996 – Robinson's career as an artist flourished. His two major bodies of work – the Creation series, begun in 1988 and eventually completed in 1997, and the Mountain series created in 1992–93 – were critically acclaimed and Robinson's art assumed its due place in the history of Australian landscape painting.
In 2008 Robinson stated: 'My art is a visual autobiography of my life. My concerns have been about the places where I have lived and these have shaped my whole imagination. The William Robinson Gallery provides a place to tell a personal and coherent story'.
Robinson is one of the most successful Australian artists of his generation. In 2001 the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane mounted a major survey exhibition of his work, which later toured to the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. In 2007 the artist was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his outstanding achievement and service to the arts. Robinson's work has been the focus of more than 43 solo exhibitions and he is represented in some 33 public collections in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the Vatican City.