Mack Jost Gallery
Celebrating 40 years of the gallery at Horsham Town Hall
Mack Jost’s promise in 1980 to bequeath his substantial art collection to the people of Horsham galvanised the Council to further invest in its Art Gallery, which was then located within the Horsham Library, and to find it a new, more spacious home.
Three years later, after much hard work on behalf of Gallery staff, the Council and the community to raise funds and locate an appropriate space, the Gallery moved out of its tiny former premises and into the newly renovated former Council offices here at the Horsham Town Hall.
Opening to the public amid much fanfare on Saturday 23 July 1983, the new Gallery presented four exhibitions. Upstairs was an exhibition showcasing approximately 100 works from Mack Jost’s personal collection, set alongside a display featuring 20 drawings by George Coates which had been generously donated to the Gallery the year before by artist Scott Pendlebury—a friend of Jost’s. Downstairs the Gallery put on two exhibitions by local Wimmera artists; watercolourist Gwendda Smith and photographer Con Kroker.
And so the growth of the Horsham Regional Art Gallery’s collection began in earnest. At the end of the 1983 exhibition, Mack Jost made his first donation to the Gallery of 15 works from his collection. At the same time and with the help of the Caltex-Victorian Government Art Fund, the Gallery was also able to purchase 36 works from Con Kroker.
Today the Gallery’s collection amounts to some 2800 works of art, and our relatively recent renovations of 2016 have completed both the city of Horsham and Jost’s vision of creating the highest standards of exhibition spaces for the Mack Jost collection, Australian photography collection and general gallery collection in these same former municipal offices.
This exhibition recreates in miniature the works on display in the first four shows at the opening of the Horsham Regional Art Gallery in 1983.
Image caption: Mack Jost, Graham Jost, Shirley Fraser and Betty Jost revel at the opening of the new Gallery at Horsham Town Hall on Saturday 23 July 1983. Image courtesy of the Wimmera Mail Times