The Wynne Prize is awarded annually for 'the best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours or for the best example of figure sculpture by Australian artists’.
This open competition is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW. Finalists are displayed in an exhibition at the Gallery (although in the early years all entrants were hung). Many winning paintings have become icons in Australian landscape art, entering the collections of public galleries, including our own.
The prize was established following a bequest by Richard Wynne, who died in 1895, and first awarded in 1897, in honour of the official opening of the Gallery at its present site.
Between 1897 and 1928 there was no Wynne Prize exhibition at the then National Art Gallery of NSW. The winners were selected by the trustees from local art society shows, from works brought into the Gallery for assessment or, on occasions, from works viewed by the trustees in other circumstances.