The gallery was founded in July 1895. Since its inception, the gallery has aimed to enrich Western Australia with great collections of art, bringing the art of the world to the state. In partnership with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the gallery is presenting six exhibitions of work drawn from MoMA’s extensive collection between 2012 and 2015.
Despite celebrating art from around the world, the gallery places a large emphasis on the arts of Australia and the Indian Ocean Rim. Programs, exhibitions and events are influenced heavily by art both local and close international proximity. This includes the permanent State Art Collection, showcasing Indigenous art and Western Australian art and design.
The Art Gallery of Western Australia hosts a wide range of exhibitions, which have included celebrations of Egyptian art, entries to the Tom Malone Prize, and contemporary photography of New York. Year 12 Perspectives is a recurring exhibition of art by some of the most talented graduating high school artists in the state that highlights the role the arts play in the development of self.