The collection was first established by the Rural City of Wangaratta (then known as Wangaratta City Council), well before the creation of the art gallery. In 1980, when the council moved into new offices, there was a need to fill the new building with art, with the help of the Wangaratta Art Council, the city council established the Wangaratta City Council Collection, that continued to grow throughout the years. This collection is now managed by the Wangaratta Art Gallery and features the work of artists such as James Tissot, John Colin Angus, Lorna Chick, and V.R. Watt.
This relationship between Wangaratta Arts Council and the Wangaratta City Council lay foundations for the establishment of the Gallery, and the development of the gallery’s own specific Regional Art Gallery Collection in 2004. The Gallery collection is focused on textile art, small sculpture, wood, and significant works of art sourced from, and reflecting, North-East Victoria, as well as works of art by artists of state and national significance. Judy Cassab, Valerie Kirk, Mandy Gunn, Robert Hirschmann, Anita Laurence, and Aida Tomescu are some of the artists whose work features in the Art Gallery’s collection.
James Jacques Joseph Tissot, Berthe, 1883, drypoint etching on paper. Rural City of Wangaratta Collection. Purchased with funds from the Wangaratta Art Council.