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10th March, 2020

Official Launch of the Victorian Artists Society’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations

Media Release
10 March 2020
Official Launch of the Victorian Artists Society’s
150th Anniversary Celebrations
The restored Victorian Artists Society’s Heritage Victoria National Trust Listed building
Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, and Mr Anthony Howard AM QC, will launch the Victorian Artists Society’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations this evening.
The 150th celebrations of the Victorian Artists Society coincides with the completion of a major $2.5 million heritage restoration of the Heritage Victoria National Trust Listed building over the past four years by the Society under the guidance of its current President, Eileen Mackley AM. 
The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, and Mr Anthony Howard AM QC will tour the restored building including the original historic art studio built in 1875, which was incorporated into the existing building and also the historic galleries that launched the careers of artists including Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin and Walter Withers in the early days.
Australia’s famous soprano, Dame Nellie Melba associated herself closely with the Victorian Artists Society. From 1915 until her death in 1931, Melba taught classes regularly and enlivened Albert Street with her vitality and glorious voice. Her students trained in the now Cato Gallery on the lower floor and made their singing debut in the upper Hammond Gallery where there is a stage and piano.   
The Governor will present the Victorian Artists Society Fellowship and Signatory Awards as part of the official opening. The awards recognise a significant contribution to the Victorian Artists Society by individual members.
Following the Governor’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations address the award presentations for the VAS George Hicks Foundation Contemporary Exhibition 2020 will take place.
Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Victorian Artists Society – Mobile: 0417 329 201
Eileen Mackley Members Gallery
The Hammond Gallery in 2020
The Hammond Gallery above in 1893
The Victorian Artists Society
430 Albert Street
East Melbourne
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Saturday and Sunday 1pm to 4pm.