The City of Fremantle Art Collection is the largest municipal art collection in Western Australia. It contains over 1300 pieces, including historical works and an extraordinary mix of contemporary paintings, prints, photographs and ceramics by Western Australian artists, representing strongly Fremantle makers and Fremantle subjects.
The Collection boasts an excellent holding of Australian prints and artists’ books that reflect the diversity, complexity and scale of print in Australia, and includes Fremantle Print Award winning works by artists such as Ray Arnold, Rebecca Beardmore, Pat Brassington, Damiano Bertoli, Marion Manifold, Mike Parr and Alick Tipoti.
The Collection has received many generous gifts and donations over the decades, including an outstanding group of forty-three paintings and drawings by Kathleen O’Connor, donated by the artist’s family in 1978, and a remarkable gift by Nyoongar Elder Ken Colbung of a painting by Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri (1929–1984) titled Aboriginal people meeting first white settlers at the Swan River. More than one hundred and fifty artworks have been gifted by prominent collectors, including works by John Coburn, Lloyd Rees, William Dobell, Guy Grey-Smith, Ken Wadrop, Colin Lanceley, Sidney Nolan and Mary Moore.
In 2008 Fremantle’s enduring role as home and subject matter for artists was celebrated in an illustrated book and major touring exhibition Fertile Soil, marking 50 years of the Collection (1958-2008).
Residents and visitors to Fremantle continue to access exhibitions drawn from the Collection at the Fremantle Arts Centre and key public locations across the City including Town Hall Centre and the City of Fremantle Library.
The Collection is managed by the Curator of the City of Fremantle Collection, André Lipscombe.