National Significance

National Significance

The Women’s Art Register is unique, and of historical significance, in that it is the only collection of archival material in Australia about Australian women artists.

The collection extends from the late 19th century to the present day, and contains documentation on a diversity of material on women artists, initiatives, exhibitions on various themes, the development of the women’s art movement, events, books, publications, research papers recording and promoting the work of Australian women artists. 

Since its inception, the Women’s Art Register has had a significant impact in Australia on increasing the awareness of women artists, in schools, universities and the wider community, through the development of educational kits for schools, exhibitions and the ongoing collection of substantial records, files and images of the work of women artists.

Evidence that the Women’s Art Register is of national significance is highlighted in the Significance Assessment report for the National Library by Cultural Connotations in 2009.

The Women’s Art Register was founded in association with the George Paton Gallery at the University of Melbourne, which ensured that it was placed amongst a group of women who were influential curators, administrators and artists, at a period where this group had a significant impact and influence in changing attitudes, and increased awareness of women in the Australian art scene.

Through their diversity, the key figures in WAR have documented a wide range of work of Australian women artists, which is a significant resource for researches of the future of the significance of women artists in the history of Australian art. Through the development of innovative events, exhibitions and educational programs, slide sets, CDs, plus the collection of over 2,000 files on the work of individual women artists; there now exists a comprehensive collection of national significance.

The WAR has been dedicated to continually collecting material since 1975, where the work of women artists in Australia has been documented. Critical analysis of the work of women has been provided over the years in ‘The Bulletin’, the bi-annual publication of the WAR.