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PERC TUCKER REGIONAL GALLERY HISTORY
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery is named in honour of Alderman Perc Tucker, Mayor of Townsville from 1976 to 1980. The Gallery was officially opened by the Mayor of Townsville, Alderman M. F. Reynolds, on 25th September 1981.
The Gallery is housed in an historic building established by the Union Bank of Australia in 1885 as its northern headquarters. It was designed and built in 1885 by the then colonial architect F.D. G. Stanley, whose niece, Gwendolyn, became a well known artist in Brisbane in the first half of this century. Her first solo exhibition in Brisbane in 1906 featured works from her time in North Queensland. Later she married W.G. Grant whose watercolours of North Queensland are in the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery Collection.
The upper level of the building was added in the early 1930’s and the building served the people of North Queensland as a bank for nearly a century. In 1951 the Union Bank amalgamated with the Bank of Australasia and the building became the main office of the Australia and New Zealand Bank. It subsequently became the regional Office of North Queensland for the ANZ Banking Group, following the merger with the English Scottish and Australian Bank in 1970 and 10 years later, the Bank of Adelaide.
The ANZ was the last commercial owner. In 1980 the Townsville City Council acquired and developed this heritage building as a public gallery at a cost of $650,000.00. The Queensland Government contributed a third of the development cost. The Gallery’s operating costs are funded by the Townsville City Council.
The Gallery’s collection currently numbers over 2000 artworks. The focus is on works that relate to North Queensland, with an overall theme of the tropics for the collection policy. This thematic umbrella encompasses Contemporary Art of Tropical Queensland, Historical Art of Tropical Queensland, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Art, Contemporary Art from Papua New Guinea, Popular Art and Ephemera.
The Gallery has a diverse program of local, national and international exhibitions. A public program including floor talks, lectures and performances complement the exhibitions.
*The pronunciation of Perc is ‘Purse’
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