Australia Post is commemorating the centenary of the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney, with the release of three stamps featuring unforgettable prize-winning portraits from across the decades by artists William Dobell, William Dargie and Del Kathryn Barton.

First awarded in 1921, the Archibald Prize was established following a bequest from former Art Gallery of NSW trustee and founder of The Bulletin magazine, JF Archibald (1856–1919), whose aim was to foster portraiture and support artists.

Australia Post Group Manager Philatelic Michael Zsolt said the new stamps were a fitting way to honour the annual open competition, which celebrates figures from all walks of life.

“The selected portraits are three of more than 6000 finalist works that have been shown in the Archibald Prize over the last century,” Mr Zsolt said.

“We love celebrating these historic moments as part of the Australia Post Stamp Program and we look forward to seeing many more iconic works featured in future Archibald Prizes.”

Art Gallery of NSW director Dr Michael Brand said the release of the stamps was a wonderful way to continue the centenary celebrations, which are taking place during the Art Gallery’s 150th anniversary year.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Australia Post to celebrate 100 years of Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait award,” Dr Brand said.

“The commemorative stamp issue is a wonderful way to share some of the key moments of the Archibald Prize and prominently celebrate the work of visual artists.”

$1.10    Margaret Olley 1948 by William Dobell

This 1948 winning portrait of artist Margaret Olley (1923–2011) is one of William Dobell’s (1899–1970) finest works. It is an enduring favourite at the Art Gallery of NSW and depicts a beloved figure and important benefactor to the arts.

$1.10    Portrait of Albert Namatjira 1956 by William Dargie

The portrait of Western Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira (1902–59) by celebrated Australian portrait painter William Dargie (1912–2003) is one of the most recognisable and universally respected of all Archibald winners. This iconic portrait was painted in Sydney when Namatjira visited the city.

$1.10    hugo 2013 by Del Kathryn Barton

Del Kathryn Barton’s (1972–) 2013 winning portrait featured one of Australia’s most acclaimed actors, Hugo Weaving (1960–). Barton is renowned for decorative, highly detailed paintings with vibrant, figurative imagery.

Audiences around the country can delve deeper into the rich history of the Archibald Prize by visiting Art Gallery of NSW to learn more and find information on the celebratory exhibition, Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize, which will tour to eight venues across Australia from November 2021.

The stamps and associated products, including a stamp pack, first day cover and maxicard set, are on sale from today at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794, and online while stocks last.

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