History of the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum
The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum is housed in a converted heritage listed building, the old Town Hall, officially opened on 15 September 1934.
Designed by Rockhampton architect Roy Chipps, the eclectic styled Town Hall building was modified during construction to become a community hall and theatre. For over forty years events including flower shows, boxing matches, debutante balls, movies, immunization clinics, amateur dramatics and weddings were held in the hall.
Following initial conversion and being opened as a Gallery/Museum in April 1985, the building has undergone further internal changes, such as the addition of a goods lift and an internal staircase in 1998.
The most recent extension in 2003 designed by Brett Hudson of Peddle Thorp Architects, added 200sqm of purpose built gallery space, a workshop studio, administration offices and an open air courtyard.
The glass bridge walkway connecting the two buildings was built especially to accommodate the 19th century marble statue of the city's namesake, William Ewart Gladstone and offers Goondoon Street passers-by the opportunity to view the monument 24 hours a day.
Local artist Margaret Worthington's aluminium and steel installation 151.16S 23.50E inspired by the harbour and shipping charts of Port Curtis gives a dramatic emphasis to the facade of the new wing.
The Gallery/Museum houses an extensive collection of local history objects and resources. Early Beginnings - The Discovery of Port Curtis provides you with useful contextual information to complement viewing our collection.
Resilience a new cultural project plotting the peaks and troughs of industry and their effect on Gladstone's development in history is currently being researched. Contact Di Paddick by email to find out more.
Waves of Settlement (Gladstone from 1901 to 2001)
Gladstone is unusual in Queensland, owing its origin to a deliberate act of foundation, rather than to gradual growth as a service town for an agricultural hinterland.
Far more than any other Queensland town, Gladstone is unique in having sustained great influxes of people in search of jobs in secondary and tertiary industry.
Waves of Settlement •recollections•images•artefacts Port Curtis 1901 - 2001 based on photographs, artefacts, memorabilia and oral testimony focussed on recording change through the lives of Port Curtis citizens both past and present and has made the area's history more readily accessible. The activities of the people changing the environment and the city they developed are presented in the four chronological segments below (click on the links below to download resources)
- First Wave: Getting Going 1901-1939 (PDF 1934kb)
- Second Wave: Neap Tide - Meatworks Town 1940-1963 (PDF 1992kb)
- Third Wave: Tidal Wave - Slum to Boomcity 1964-1982 (PDF 1533kb)
- Fourth Wave: High Water - Looking to the Future 1983-2001 (PDF 1319kb)
Themes running through the exhibition included: insiders and outsiders, gender imbalance, reclamation, environment versus industrialization and inflation versus recession.
Waves of Settlement draws on the materials and expertise of several organizations in the Gladstone/Calliope/Boyne Valley area, including the:
- Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum
- Calliope River Historical Village
- Genealogical Society
- Gladstone Maritime History Museum
- Calliope Heritage Group
- Boyne Valley Historical Society
- Gladstone City Library
- Calliope Shire Council
- Gladstone City Council
Waves of Settlement •recollections•images•artefacts Port Curtis 1901 - 2001 was supported by the Queensland Government through the Queensland Community Assistance Program of Centenary of Federation Queensland.