This year, the 90th year of Archibald
, there were 798 entries for Archibald, 810 for the Wynne and 633 entries for the Sulman. The Archibald and Wynne prizes are judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery
of New South Wales. The judge for the Sulman Prize was Richard Bell.
WINNER OF THE 2011 ARCHIBALD PRIZE
Ben Quilty Margaret Olley
WINNER OF THE 2011 WYNNE PRIZE
Richard Goodwin Co-isolated slave
The Trustees' Watercolour Prize
Graham Fransella Tree
WINNER OF THE 2011 SULMAN PRIZE
Peter Smeeth The artist's fate
The judge for the Sulman prize was Richard Bell.
Archibald Prize 2011 regional tour
2 July 31 July 2011 TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria
5 August 11 Sept 2011 Tweed River Art Gallery
17 Sept 23 October 2011 Moree Plains Gallery
28 October 4 Dec 2011 Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
9 Dec 2011 15 Jan 2012 Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
20 January 26 Feb 2012 Orange Regional Gallery
2 March 8 April 2012 Manning Regional Art Gallery
Who was JF Archibald?
JF Archibald had no desire to become famous and, during his lifetime, he shunned publicity and remained evasive and enigmatic. A portrait of him, commissioned by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW, was made after his death and remains as one of the pictorial records of a man who avoided having his photograph taken. Yet JF Archibald is the man behind one of Australias oldest and best known art prizes for portraiture.
He was born in Victoria in 1856, christened with the name John Feltham. When he was 15, he started his career in journalism on a country newspaper in Warrnambool, Victoria. His passion for newspapers led him to Melbourne, searching for work in the big smoke. He lived a bohemian life, frequenting Melbournes city boarding houses, streets, theatres and cafes a life he imagined to be quite European, which led him to change his name to Jules François and later to leave money in his will for a large fountain to be built in the middle of Sydneys Hyde Park to commemorate the association of France and Australia in World War I.
Realising the power of print, in 1880 he and a friend founded the Bulletin magazine, a radical journal for its time, addressing issues of nationhood, culture and identity. This journal was influential in shaping opinions and raising issues in the publics consciousness. He also employed the best young artists to be its illustrators. His interest in art led him in his later years to serve as a trustee for the Art Gallery of NSW, keen to promote the work of younger artists and writers. In 1900, he commissioned Melbourne portrait artist, John Longstaff, to paint a portrait of poet Henry Lawson for 50 guineas. Apparently he was so pleased with this portrait, that he left money in his will for an annual portrait prize.
The Archibald Prize, from its outset, has aroused controversy, while chronicling the changing face of Australian society. Numerous legal battles and much debate have focused on the evolving definitions of portraiture. It has become one of the most popular annual art exhibitions in Australia.