The Victorian Artists Society, which can trace its establishment to 1856 in Melbourne, promotes artistic education, art classes and gallery hire exhibition in Australia.
The Victorian Artists Society was formed in March 1888 following the decision of the Victorian Academy of Arts and the Australian Artists' Association to amalgamate. The Victorian Academy of Arts had been formed in 1870 with 'about twenty artists and amateurs' amongst its first members. The Academy's forerunner, the Victorian Society of Fine Arts, was established in 1856. The Australian Artists' Association held its first exhibition in 1886 with works by Tom Roberts, Louis Buvelot, Frederick McCubbin, and Arthur Streeton.
The founding president of the new amalgamated Society was Joseph Anderson Panton and later presidents included Frederick McCubbin and Paul Raphael Montford.
The premises at 430 Albert Street in East Melbourne were erected for the society in 1888, enlarged in 1892 and modernised in 1953. Facilities include four galleries, teaching studio, members room, offices and other ancillary facilities.
Membership is restricted to 1000, a figure last reached in 1979, and is open for new members to join. Membership is open to all persons interested in the fine arts, with the emphasis on practising artists.
Regular classes are held in various media which are open to members and non-members including watercolour, oil painting, drawing, mixed media, life model.
Exhibitions are held annually, including the seasonal spring, summer, autumn and winter exhibitions, with awards given at each.
The 2011 Artist of the Year Award was given to Clive Sinclair.
== References ==
* Germaine Max – Artists and Galleries of Australia (1984) Boolarong Publications
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