Mildura’s role in Victoria’s regional arts history covered in new book

Published on 12 February 2019


Mildura has a special place in the story of the arts in Victoria, leading a revolution of new country-based galleries in the 1950s that set a trend for decades to come.

Mildura’s role in this phenomenon is highlighted in a landmark new book chronicling the arts in country areas – Art for the Country: The story of Victoria’s regional art galleries, by Dr Don Edgar.

The book outlines how the arts thrived in two very different periods – the post-Goldrush days of affluence and the contrasting post-World War Two days of reconstructing.

Perhaps as a nod to Mildura’s role in this journey, the Mildura Arts Centre has been selected as the first location in Victoria to launch the book on Saturday, 16 February at 2.30pm.

Councillor for Arts and Culture Jason Modica said the launch was a chance to be one of the first in the State to take home a copy of the book as well as meet the author, who will speak at the event.

“This is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the incredible role Mildura played in the history of the arts in Victoria, helping to bring the arts to many of our State’s country towns,” Cr Modica said.

“Mildura’s first art gallery at Rio Vista Historic House started a whole new movement in region art galleries, spearheaded by Reg Etherington.

“This led to new galleries popping up in places such as Hamilton, Benalla and Sale, and the rejuvenation of old provincial galleries at Ballarat, Warrnambool, Bendigo and Geelong.”

The book launch in Mildura will kick off a series of similar events at locations including Shepparton and Warrnambool, with the Melbourne launch taking place on 17 March at the Melbourne Art Book Fair at National Gallery of Victoria.

For more information contact Helen Piscioneri at Mildura Arts Centre at or on (03) 5018 8330.



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