Wangaratta Art Gallery has particular collection emphasis on textile art which has been developed through the most significant acquisitive award for textile art in Australia, the Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award. The gallery also collects small sculpture, wood, significant works of art from and about the north-east Victoria region and works by state and national artists of significance.  

The collection was first established by the Rural City of Wangaratta (then known as Wangaratta City Council), well before the creation of the gallery. In 1980, when the council moved into new offices, there was a need to fill the new building with art and, with the help of the Wangaratta Arts Council, the city council established the Wangaratta City Council Collection, that continued to grow throughout the years. This collection is now managed by Wangaratta Art Gallery and features the work of artists such as James Tissot, John Colin Angus, Lorna Chick, and V.R. Watt.  

The relationship between Wangaratta Arts Council and the Wangaratta City Council lay the foundations for the establishment of the Wangaratta Art Gallery and the development of the gallery’s own specific regional art gallery collection in 2004. 

In 2004, the Wangaratta Art Gallery Collection Policy was ratified by the Rural City of Wangaratta and since then works have been acquired into the collection on a regular basis. Judy Cassab, Valerie Kirk, Mandy Gunn, Anita Laurence, Hannah Gartside, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Kate Just, Paul Yore and Aida Tomescu are some of the artists whose work features in the Wangaratta 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.