City of Fremantle Art Collection | City of Fremantle

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City of Fremantle Art Collection

Arthur head Fremantle and mouth of the Swan River Estuary with storm clouds, 1893 | Artist: George Forsyth (1843-1894) | Medium: oil paint on millboard

City of Fremantle Art Collection

The City of Fremantle has been instrumental in building a permanent collection of moveable artworks for more than 50 years that represent Fremantle/Walyalup’s local artists, arts practice, and cultural activities in the region. This holding of over 1600 artworks is a legacy of Fremantle’s arts and culture policy and investment in building a unique and significant artistic record that is employed to tell Fremantle’s story and interpret and celebrate our diverse creative community.

Established following a donation of 41 Australian paintings to the City by WA art philanthropist Sir Claude Hotchin in 1958, the collection today is housed locally at the Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) and Walyalup Civic Centre, building a relationship with an informed and appreciative audience while creating an impetus to accrue new works by local artists and craftspeople, many of whom reside and work in Fremantle/Walyalup.

The collection has substantial holdings of paintings, prints, drawings, ceramics, photography, and sculpture tracking the development of artists and visual arts practice in Fremantle after 1973 and setting out a record of the evolution of art making at the FAC as a national centre for innovative visual arts practice.

The collection has artworks of historical and contemporary significance including an important holding of artworks by established and senior Fremantle artists. The collection has a nationally significant holding of Australian artist prints and artist books including award winning works from the Fremantle Print Award and a holding of WA Aboriginal and Indigenous Art about Fremantle/Walyalup. Many of the artworks in the collection both reflect and reveal Fremantle life: its people, work & industries, environment, First Nations cultures, politics, social rituals, conflicts, and leisure time. It is through the work of its artists which are represented in the collection that audiences can find their own perspectives upon Fremantle and its people and place in which they live.

The collection maintains a strong relevance to Fremantle artists and community in the acquisition of artworks created by artists who live or work in City, or art which reflects or is inspired by activities in the region.

Access to the Collection

Artworks from the City of Fremantle Art Collection are exhibited regularly at FAC and displayed at Walyalup Civic Centre.

Details of artworks held in the City of Fremantle Art Collection can be searched here at Collections WA

Collection Policy

The collection actively acquires works which represent its artists and build upon the strengths of its existing historical and contemporary holdings. Priority is given to acquiring representative artworks that reflect the breadth and depth of art making by First Nations artists which provide insights into Fremantle, placing kinship and culture front and centre within a deep and abiding connection to people and place. The City has maintained its activity in purchasing artworks for the Collection, but it is through the principled way in which the Collection has conducted its relationships with artists and the community that laid the groundwork for attracting important bequests and a remarkable number of gifts and donations through the Commonwealth Cultural Gifts Program. 

Art collection policy

Australian Taxation Office Cultural Gifts Program

Revealing art collection brochure


The City of Fremantle Art Collection is managed within the objectives of the City of Fremantle Art Collection Policy and administered by a Curator who is responsible for maintaining high standards of ethical management, exhibition and conservation of the collection and recommendations regarding acquisition of artworks.

The City develops its collection holdings in accordance with current museum practice and employs significance assessment criteria developed by the Heritage Collections Council. The City's Collections Policy complies with the terms and principles of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 and the acquisition guidelines and statement on ethics by Museums Australia.

Contact us

City of Fremantle
Walyalup Civic Centre
151 High Street
Fremantle WA 6160

T 08 9432 9999
F 08 9432 9895
TTY 08 9432 9777

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