LAUNCESTON'S Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery was abuzz yesterday as a pair of paintings by one of Australia's most important landscape artists of the 20th century were unveiled and welcomed into its permanent collection.
The oils by Fred Williams were chosen by the QVMAG Arts Foundation to launch its Masterpieces for Tasmania Fund, a scheme designed to bolster the QVMAG art acquisition program through community donation.
The QVMAG Arts Foundation is raising funds to buy outright Potboil Shoals, Flinders Island, while the late artist's wife, Lyn Williams, has gifted Ti-Tree Swamp, Flinders Island in a ``remarkably generous gesture of support'' to the museum.
The ``dynamic'' works were painted by Williams after he visited Flinders Island in January 1974 on a family holiday.
``Masterpieces is an appeal aimed to reinvigorate the museum's acquisition of works of Tasmanian significance by Australia's finest artists,'' Foundation chairwoman Sandra Campbell said yesterday as members were treated to a sneak peek of the works.
QVMAG director Richard Mulvaney said it was getting harder for public institutions like QVMAG to compete in the art market against investment and corporate buyers.
``I encourage the community to be part of this wonderful vision that will build an even stronger sense of pride, wonder and enjoyment for visitors to the QVMAG knowing they are seeing great art of international stature,'' he said.
The two paintings by Williams will be hung at QVMAG Royal Park for public display in 2014.
Donations are tax deductible and inquiries can be made by email to Foundation@qvmag.tas. gov.au