For over 50 years, Max Watters has been collecting other artist’s work. His taste is eclectic and embraces painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, glass through to fibre art.
Purchased through the sale of his own work, the Max Watters Collection has grown to over 300 works. It is regarded as one of the most significant collections of its type in rural Australia, and showcases some of the most influential names in Australian contemporary art: John Perceval, Grace Cossington-Smith, Ken Whisson, Charles Blackman, Jon Plapp, Danila Vassilieff, Euan Macleod, Imants Tillers and Tony Tuckson to name but a few. These works complement the collection’s numerous examples of other prominent artists at their peak.
In March 2004 Max Watters signed over his collection to the Shire of Muswellbrook so that residents and vsitiors alike could enjoy in perpetuity his vision. It is, indeed, a generous bequest. This gift has the primary intention to provide art education for generations to come, to inspire visual awareness and curiosity, and promote culture as a tool for tourism in the area.
Maxwell Joseph Watters was born in Muswellbrook in 1936 and began painting in the late 1950’s, his work being represented in every major collection around the country. A member of the prominent local family, Max was encouraged in collecting art by his brother Frank of the Watters Gallery in Sydney.
Selected works from the Max Watters Collection are displayed year round at the Arts Centre.