Watters to Watters "End of an Era"

The significance of the Watters family to the arts of the Upper Hunter Region cannot be underestimated. Frank Watters and Max Watters - brothers, artists, collectors, philanthropists and Muswellbrook boys, stand alone in their contributions to the arts of the nation and the generosity of their gift to the Upper Hunter Region and the people of Muswellbrook.

While Max is, of course, the great benefactor of Muswellbrook and of the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Frank along with his fellow Directors of the Watters Gallery in East Sydney, Alex and Geoffrey Legge, have spent the last 54 years at the cutting edge of Australian art supporting and nurturing such important artists as Micky Allan, Vivienne Binns, Mike Brown, James Clifford, Aleksander Danko, John Davis, Betty Gleeson, Ian Howard, Robert Jenyns, Richard Larter, Euan Macleod, Reg Mombassa, John Peart, Oliffe Richmond, Tony Tuckson, Vicki Varvaressos and Ken Whisson along with many more. All the artists named here are represented in the Max Watters Collection along with many more from the Watters Gallery family. Max often purchased these artistsjust as they were commencing on what have become major artistic journeys within the Australian experience and often overseas.

The Max Watters Collection is an Australian National Treasure and to a large degree this is due to that family connection both between two brothers and their shared love of art and between the larger Watters Gallery family of artists of which Max was both an important part and an important collector. I have used the past tense here because this is the final year of the Watters Gallery’s operation. While Max and Frank and Alex and Geoffrey will no doubt continue their love of art, at years end the Watters Gallery will be no more.

This exhibition entitled Watters to Watters celebrates that connection between artist/collector Max Watters and the artworks he collected straight from the horse’s mouth - the Watters Gallery.


Exhibiting 28 October- 23 December

Opening Night
6pm Saturday 27 October 2018. Free entry with
refreshments courtesy of Hollydene Estate Wines,
Hunter Belle Cheese and Pukara Estate.

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Artwork: Ken Whisson, Brisbane and Stanthorpe
1980 (detail), oil on canvas, 89.5 x 119.5cm Max Watters Collection.