The Jackie & Hugh Wallace Collection

Hugh & Jackie Wallace abroad

The Jackie and Hugh Wallace Collection represents a selection of works by Australian artists, and, like their rest of their furniture and decorative arts previously offered at Gibson’s in our recent Interiors | Private Collections auction, showcases a snippet of their larger and more eclectic collecting style. Working together over the course of their marriage, these works show a couple who bought for the love of the artworks themselves and not necessarily for a greater curatorial ‘whole’.

Both Jackie and Hugh had a good eye for collecting art and enjoyed collecting it from an early age. Being a stockbroker, Hugh was used to calculated risks and so would often buy an artwork when he felt the artist showed potential. Together they bought art by the likes of Jeffrey Smart and Albert Namatjira, long before they became well known artists, let alone collectable works of art. They worked well as a team, with interests and growing knowledge in differing areas of the broader Artscape.


The Street Vendor, $30,000-40,000

The works on offer in this particular auction are a testament to Hugh and Jackie’s unique style of eclecticism informed by educated understanding. The works jump from the realist approaches of everyday life, both at home and abroad, seen in Mortimer Menpes’ The Artist’s Child and The Street Vendor, to pre-war seaside vistas of moored boats and beach scenes (James R Jackson, Anne Montgomery, William Rowell), to distinctly Melbourne views in Dora Wilson’s The Green Façade and the recognisable Captain Cook’s Cottage by Robert Taylor Ghee. Next, we approach Modernism in the form of printmaking and sculpture with examples of masters in their respective medium, Margaret Preston and Clifford Last, before leaping into the abstract with John Coburn’s vibrant and distinct Early Bird, 1968.

These works formed an important segment of their greater collection, hung proudly in rooms painted to compliment the artworks within their brightly adorned Armadale home which also included Aboriginal art, Naïve art, early and modern Australian, English, and Asian furniture and artefacts, colourful Murano glass,  Staffordshire and bronze works through to Egyptian and Shona stone – all informed by their extensive travel over the years. Interestingly, by Hugh and Jackie not limiting their collection to one aesthetic or curatorial approach, the outcome seems all the more realised, and tells the story of two lives well-lived and loved.


View the full catalogue.

View the Jackie & Hugh Wallace Collection.