Founded in 1884, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is the oldest regional art gallery in Australia and was the first to be built outside a capital city in the overseas dominions of the British Empire. The Gallery is the oldest and largest regional gallery in the country, housed in a heritage-listed building which is one of the oldest purpose-built galleries in the country.
The Gallery holds an exceptional collection, built up over 120 years. The focus of the Collection is to present the history of Australian Art to the current time through paintings and works on paper with selections of sculpture and decorative arts, also looking closely at the work of regional artists and works depicting the growth of Ballarat.
The original building at 40 Lydiard Street North, which is still the core of the Gallery, was opened by Alfred Deakin on Friday 13 June 1890.