Skip to content

Archibald Prize

The Archibald Prize is awarded annually to the best portrait, 'preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’.

This open competition is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW. Finalists are displayed in an exhibition at the Gallery (although in the early years all entrants were hung). Although it is a non-acquisitive prize, several of the entries are now part of the Gallery’s collection.

The Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921. In establishing the prize, JF Archibald’s aim was to foster portraiture as well as support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians. Over the years some of Australia’s most prominent artists have entered and the subjects have been equally celebrated in their fields.

Related prizes

Entries in the Archibald Prize are also eligible for the following prizes.

Packing Room Prize
First awarded in 1991 and chosen by the Gallery staff who receive, unpack and hang the entries, with 51 per cent of the vote going to the Gallery’s storeman, Steve Peters

People’s Choice
First awarded in 1988 and voted for by the public visiting the Archibald exhibition

How to enter

Explore past winners and finalists

Archibald 2001 finalists Nicholas Harding John Bell as King Lear
Archibald 2000 finalists Adam Cullen Portrait of David Wenham
Archibald 1999 finalists Euan MacLeod Self Portrait/head like a hole
Archibald 1998 finalists Lewis Miller Portrait of Allan Mitelman no 3
Archibald 1997 finalists Nigel Thomson Barbara Blackman
Archibald 1996 finalists Wendy Sharpe Self portrait - as Diana of Erskineville
Archibald 1995 finalists William Robinson Self Portrait With Stunned Mullet
Archibald 1994 finalists Francis Giacco Homage to John Reichard
Archibald 1993 finalists Garry Shead Tom Thompson
Archibald 1991/92 finalists Bryan Westwood The Prime Minister
Archibald 1990 finalists Geoffrey Proud Dorothy Hewett
Archibald 1989 finalists Bryan Westwood Portrait of Elwyn Lynn
Archibald 1988 finalists Fred Cress John Beard
Archibald 1987 finalists William Robinson Equestrian Self Portrait
Archibald 1986 finalists Davida Allen Dr John Arthur McKelvie Shera
Archibald 1985 finalists Guy Warren Flugelman with Wingman
Archibald 1984 finalists Keith Looby Max Gillies
Archibald 1983 finalists Nigel Thomson Chandler Coventry
Archibald 1982 finalists Eric John Smith Peter Sculthorpe
Archibald 1981 finalists Eric John Smith Rudy Komon
Archibald 1980 finalists No award
Archibald 1979 finalists Wes Walters Portrait of Phillip Adams
Archibald 1978 finalists Brett Whiteley Art, life and the other thing
Archibald 1977 finalists Kevin Connor Robert Klippel
Archibald 1976 finalists Brett Whiteley Self portrait in the studio
Archibald 1975 finalists Kevin Connor The Hon Sir Frank Kitto, KBE
Archibald 1974 finalists Sam Fullbrook Jockey Norman Stephens
Archibald 1973 finalists Janet Dawson Michael Boddy
Archibald 1972 finalists Clifton Pugh The Hon E.G. Whitlam
Archibald 1971 finalists Clifton Pugh Sir John McEwan
Archibald 1970 finalists Eric John Smith Gruzman - architect
Archibald 1969 finalists Ray Crooke George Johnston
Archibald 1968 finalists William Pidgeon Lloyd Rees
Archibald 1967 finalists Judy Cassab Margo Lewers
Archibald 1966 finalists Jon Molvig Charles Blackman
Archibald 1965 finalists Clifton Pugh RA Henderson, Esq
Archibald 1964 finalists No award
Archibald 1963 finalists Jack Carington Smith Professor James McAuley
Archibald 1962 finalists Louis Kahan Patrick White
Archibald 1961 finalists William Pidgeon Rabbi Dr I. Porush
Archibald 1960 finalists Judy Cassab Stanislaus Rapotec
Archibald 1959 finalists William Dobell Dr Edward MacMahon
Archibald 1958 finalists William Pidgeon Mr Ray Walker
Archibald 1957 finalists Ivor Hele Self portrait
Archibald 1956 finalists William Dargie Mr Albert Namatjira
Archibald 1955 finalists Ivor Hele Robert Campbell
Archibald 1954 finalists Ivor Hele Rt. Hon. R. G. Menzies, P.C., C.H., Q.C., M.P.
Archibald 1953 finalists Ivor Hele Sir Henry Simpson Newland, CBE, DSO, MS, FRCS
Archibald 1952 finalists William Dargie Mr Essington Lewis, CH
Archibald 1951 finalists Ivor Hele Laurie Thomas
Archibald 1950 finalists William Dargie Sir Leslie McConnan
Archibald 1949 finalists Arthur J Murch Bonar Dunlop
Archibald 1948 finalists William Dobell Margaret Olley
Archibald 1947 finalists William Dargie Sir Marcus Clarke, Kt., K.B.E. [sic]
Archibald 1946 finalists William Dargie L. C. Robson, M.C., M.A..
Archibald 1945 finalists William Dargie Lt-General The Hon Edmund Herring, KBC, DSO, MC...
Archibald 1944 finalists Joshua Smith Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. J. S. R...
Archibald 1943 finalists William Dobell Mr Joshua Smith
Archibald 1942 finalists William Dargie Corporal Jim Gordon, VC
Archibald 1941 finalists William Dargie Sir James Elder, KBE
Archibald 1940 finalists Max Meldrum Dr J. Forbes McKenzie
Archibald 1939 finalists Max Meldrum Hon G. J. Bell, C.M.G., D.S.O., V.D., (Speaker,...
Archibald 1938 finalists Nora Heysen Mme Elink Schuurman
Archibald 1937 finalists Normand Baker Self portrait
Archibald 1936 finalists W B McInnes Dr Julian Smith
Archibald 1935 finalists John Longstaff AB (Banjo) Paterson
Archibald 1934 finalists Henry Aloysius Hanke Self Portrait
Archibald 1933 finalists Charles Wheeler Ambrose Pratt
Archibald 1932 finalists Ernest Buckmaster Sir William Irvine
Archibald 1931 finalists John Longstaff Sir John Sulman
Archibald 1930 finalists W B McInnes Drum-Major Harry McClelland
Archibald 1929 finalists John Longstaff The Hon WA Holman, KC
Archibald 1928 finalists John Longstaff Dr Alexander Leeper
Archibald 1927 finalists George W Lambert Mrs Murdoch
Archibald 1926 finalists W B McInnes Silk and lace (Miss Esther Paterson)
Archibald 1925 finalists John Longstaff Maurice Moscovitch
Archibald 1924 finalists W B McInnes Miss Collins
Archibald 1923 finalists W B McInnes Portrait of a lady
Archibald 1922 finalists W B McInnes Professor Harrison Moore
Archibald 1921 finalists W B McInnes Desbrowe Annear