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Final Days for the Archibald Prize Exhibition at Cairns Art Gallery

Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is is Australia’s oldest and most respected award for portraiture and is currently showing at Cairns Art Gallery with less than a week before closing.
archibald prize exhibition

Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is is Australia’s oldest and most respected award for portraiture and is currently showing at Cairns Art Gallery with less than a week before closing.

Featuring 53 of the 55 works from the 2020 Archibald Prize including the winning portrait by Vincent Namatjira Stand strong for who you are alongside the AGNSW People’s Choice and Packing Room Prize winners.

If you cannot make it to see the Exhibition, enjoy our preview here:

Each year, the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales select a winner from a shortlist of artists. The winning artist receives $100,000 in prize money, the richest art prize in Australia.

For the first time in its 99 year history, the Archibald Prize is being exhibited outside of New South Wales and Victoria.

The 2020 Archibald Prize winning entry is presented below:

Winner of the Archibald Prize 2020 / Vincent Namatjira Stand strong for who you are

Vincent Namatjira is an Indigenous Western Arrernte artist, and has won the prize for his portrait of legendary Australian Rules footballer, Adam Goodes. This is the first time that the Prize has been awarded to an Indigenous artist.


The Archibald Prize was established in 1921, funded by the bequest of the late Jules François Archibald, founding Editor of The Bulletin magazine. Terms of his bequest specify the Prize for the best portrait to be “preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia”.

Edward Humphrey / Stan Walker
Wendy Sharpe / Magda Szubanski – comedy and tragedy

In 2020, a record 1068 entires were received for the Archibald Prize, 55 of which were shortlisted for this Exhibition.

Claus Stangl / L-FRESH The LION
Claus Stangl / L-FRESH The LION (detail)
Tiger Yaltangki / Self-portrait

What are the hours of the exhibition?


Extended hours for the duration of The Archibald Prize.
M-F: 9am – 6pm
S-S: 9am – 5pm
Open Monday 3 May:  9am – 5pm


Why do I need to book?
Visitors are encouraged to book to avoid long waiting times and ensure Covid-safe guidelines are being met. 


Where can I book tickets?
BOOK HERE


How much do tickets cost?

Cairns Art Gallery is delighted to offer free entry to this incredible exhibition.
Donations are gratefully received.


How long does it take to see the exhibition?
The estimated average visit length is 35 – 45 minutes


What happens if I miss my time-slot for entry?
It is recommended to arrive 15 minutes prior to your allocated time to allow for check-in.

If you miss your allocated time, please enquire at reception and Gallery staff will endeavour to assist you with entry to the next available time.


Is the Cairns Art Gallery fully accessible?
Yes, all Gallery spaces are fully accessible to those requiring walking frame or wheelchair access.

Wheelchair accessible toilets are located on Level One.


Are cloaking facilities provided?
Limited cloaking facilities are provided- leave large bags at home.


Is photography permitted in the Gallery?
Yes, unless otherwise signed, photography is permitted without a flash.

The use of selfie sticks and tripods is prohibited.


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