William DARGIE (1912-2003)
Portrait of Rex Pilbeam [Mayor of Rockhampton 1952-1982] 1977
Oil on canvas
Rockhampton Art Gallery. Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the assistance of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council 1977
William DARGIE (1912-2003) Portrait of Rex Pilbeam [Mayor of Rockhampton 1952-1982] 1977 Oil on canvas Rockhampton Art Gallery. Art Acquisition Fund, purchased with the assistance of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council 1977 contributed

New $31.5M Rocky Art Gallery to honour Pilbeam's legacy

REX Pilbeam wrote his way into the history books for many reasons, but chief among them was his establishment of the Rockhampton Art Gallery and a collection that would earn national significance.

In 1979, the former mayor told residents it was their responsibility to "maintain and advance this gallery in years to come".

"This is the least that we can expect of the citizens of tomorrow in return for the splendid contribution made by the citizens of today," he said.

His legacy will live on with the new $31.5 million gallery development on Quay St, a space that will be large enough to finally expand the permanent collection of works hand-picked by Mr Pilbeam.

The gallery was founded in 1968 and originally housed in city hall.

When a Federal Government program matching community contributions dollar for dollar was announced, Mr Pilbeam and volunteers canvassed residents to raise $500,000.

The 1500-piece permanent collection, now worth $14 million, is one of the richest in regional Australia.

In June 2017, Rockhampton Regional Council was presented a feasibility study which confirmed the move to Quay St was viable for the business and was awarded $2 million from Arts Queensland to develop the design.

In July, councillors endorsed the concept plan for the cultural precinct, including the design of the gallery. Yesterday, councillors endorsed the schematic designs of the precinct. The gallery development will now proceed to the detailed design phase.



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