Media Release

Victorian Artists' Society Opens Heritage Renovation


Victorian Artists Society

Artist David McCubbin, the great grandson of one of Australia's most famous artist's, Frederick McCubbin, a founding member of the Victorian Artists' Society in 1888, was on hand today to help reveal major heritage restorations which have transformed the historic building's famous galleries.

In 1888 was the amalgamation of the Australian Artists' Association with the Victorian Academy of Arts to form the Victorian Artists' Society. Frederick McCubbin acted as a Councillor of the Victorian Artists' Society from its inception, and was elected President of the Society, 1903-1904 and 1909.

Left: Ray Wilson, Manager, Victorian Artists' Society and David McCubbin, great grandson of Frederick McCubbin
launch the campaign for the life sized bronze statues.

David McCubbin also helped launch a campaign to establish three life size bronze statues of Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and his great grandfather, Frederick McCubbin, on the wide grass median strip in Albert Street, East Melbourne, opposite the heritage listed building.

These three icon Australia painters were all founding members of the Victorian Artists' Society and represent the foundation of Australia's art history. The Victorian Artists' Society aims to have the bronze statues in place by 2020 to coincide with the Society's 150th Anniversary.

Left: Eileen Mackley, President, Victorian Artists' Society with David McCubbin in the newly restored gallery.

President of the Victorian Artists' Society, Eileen Mackley said, "the heritage renovation of the building, which was facing serious issues of water damage, has seen this important Melbourne building restored to its original state including the arches, by adding lighting, heating, plumbing and fire protection services."

Ms Mackley said with the 150th anniversary of the Victorian Artists' Society approaching, the VAS Council is working towards completing the total restoration program by 2020 to ensure the Victorian Artists' Society will provide future artists and the community with an opportunity to share in the history and the spirit of Australia's art.

Left: David McCubbin with a life size image of his great grandfather, Frederick McCubbin and Ron Smith,
Victorian Artists' Society Councillor and Convenor of Communications in the gallery.

Ron Smith, Communications Convenor of the Victorian Artists' Society said, Art lovers getting married will be soon be able to arrange wedding photographs in the galleries and in the original art studio where artists such as Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin and Walter Withers painted as young men.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Victorian Artists' Society Councillor and Convenor of Communications - Mobile: 0417 329 201