A new exhibition, Bill Bolton’s Vision – 60 Years On, is now open at Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery to recognise Bill Bolton’s foresight and outstanding contribution to Australia’s cultural life. The exhibition will run to Sunday 21 April and was opened by Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio along with special guest Nick Mitzevich, the Director of the National Gallery of Australia and a Trustee of the Lionel Lindsay Gallery and Library.

Few collectors could match the extraordinary passion of Toowoomba entrepreneur and philanthropist, WRF (Bill) Bolton MBE (1905 to 1973) and his late wife, Marion. Bolton’s vision to assemble a collection of Australian cultural items was realised on 4 April 1959 when then Prime Minister Robert Menzies opened the Lionel Lindsay Art Gallery and Library in Godsall Street, Toowoomba. The collection was named in honour of Bolton’s friend, noted Australian artist Sir Lionel Lindsay.

Mayor Antonio said Council was delighted to honour the Boltons’ efforts to establish a nationally significant collection of Australian artworks and printed materials, commonly known as the Bolton Collection, having been housed at Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery since 1994. “The Gallery houses more than 400 works of art dating from the 1880s and around 3000 printed materials, including books and maps from the early 1600s and manuscripts from the 1780s,” he said. “Such a focused group of artworks, literature, journals, manuscripts and maps would not be out of place in any of the major art galleries or libraries around Australia,” said Mayor Antonio, “This collection is a treasure trove of art works which serves as a unique time capsule and is part of our region’s rich traditions. Anyone with a passing interest in the early exploration of the Great South Land and later discoveries would marvel at the rare and unique works which can be perused at the Bolton Reading Room.”

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