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Enter the Archibald Prize

Online entry, with the full form and final instructions and conditions, will be available from 2 May 2016

Value $100,000

The Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (the Gallery) invite artists to submit paintings in competition for the Archibald Prize 2016.

The prize will be awarded, in the terms of the will of the late JF Archibald dated 15 March 1916, to the best portrait ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia during the 12 months preceding the date fixed by the Trustees for sending in the pictures’.

Entries in the Archibald Prize competition are also eligible to be considered for:

  • Packing Room Prize – value $1500
  • People’s Choice – value $3500

To be considered for selection, a competitor must comply with all entry instructions and conditions.

Key dates

  • Date of work: must be completed 24 June 2015 – 24 June 2016
  • Eligibility period: resident in Australia/New Zealand 24 June 2015 – 24 June 2016
  • Delivery of entries: 8am-4pm, 20-24 June 2016
  • Collection of works not selected: 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday only, 11-22 July 2016
  • Collection of works selected for Archibald Prize or Salon des Refusés: selected artists will be advised
  • Finalists and Packing Room Prize winner announced: 7 July 2016
  • Archibald Prize winner announced: 15 July 2016
  • People’s Choice winner announced: date to be confirmed
  • Archibald Prize 2016 exhibition: 16 July – 9 October 2016, followed by a tour
  • Salon des Refusés exhibition: dates to be confirmed

Instructions and conditions


The artist must have been resident in Australia or New Zealand for the eligibility period: see Key Dates above.

In any year, a competitor may enter one work only. This does not prevent the artist entering other works in other competitions such as the Sulman or Wynne Prizes.

The work

  • Must be a painting.
  • Must be a portrait painted from life, with the subject known to the artist, aware of the artist’s intention and having at least one live sitting with the artist.
  • Must NOT exceed the size limit of 90,000 square cm (eg 3 × 3 m, 1.5 × 6 m). Dimensions apply to the actual work of art, not the mounting or framing. Exhibition wall height is 3.4 m, floor to ceiling.
  • May be a multi-panel work as long as the overall dimensions do not exceed the size limit above.
  • May be painted in any medium (eg oil, acrylic, watercolour, mixed media).

Preparing the work for delivery

  • Must be suitably framed for handling. A stretched canvas is considered a suitable frame.
  • Must be clearly marked on the back with the artist’s name and address and the title of the work.
  • Must be accompanied by a photograph of the assembled work and clear instructions for its installation IF it is a multi-panelled work.
  • Must NOT be wet when submitted.
  • Must NOT include any hanging devices such as hooks or wires. These must be removed as they can damage other works and the Gallery has its own hanging system.
  • One copy of the completed entry form must be attached to the back of the work.
  • If using a courier, a second copy of the completed entry form must be put in an envelope and also attached to the back of the work. If delivering yourself, the second copy can just be handed in with the work.

Delivering your entry

The work must be accompanied by printouts of the completed entry form and a signed statement from the sitter.

Entries will only be accepted during the specified period (see Key Dates above) via the delivery dock at the rear of the building of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia.

Delivery must be made in person, by a nominated representative (such as a friend, relative or artist’s agent) or by a courier/freight company.

The Gallery will NOT pay for any costs incurred in the delivery of any entry, including freight, customs duty or import tax.

For entries arriving from outside Australia, competitors must list their name or the name of their nominated Australian representative (NOT the Art Gallery of New South Wales) as the importer of the work on any declaration made to the Australian Customs Service.

Each competitor is responsible for maintaining their own insurance.

Neither the Trustees nor the Gallery will be responsible for any loss or damage whatsoever, and however caused, to any work while in the Gallery’s custody.

Exhibiting the work

The competitor grants the Gallery permission to display the work:

  1. in an exhibition of selected finalists for the Archibald Prize 2016 at the Gallery or such other venue as the Trustees may in their absolute discretion determine (see Key Dates above); and
  2. at venues other than the Gallery in an exhibition of all or some of the finalists for the Archibald Prize 2016, including in a tour of regional New South Wales and of Victoria in 2016 and/or 2017.

Alternatively, the Gallery may display the work in 2016 either in an exhibition of works that were not selected as finalists for the Archibald Prize 2016 (currently known as the Salon des Refusés exhibition), held at the SH Ervin Gallery or at such other venue as the Trustees in their absolute discretion determine; or in a separate exhibition of works that were not selected as finalists for the Archibald Prize 2016, held at the offices of the principal sponsor of the Archibald Prize 2016. The SH Ervin Gallery or the Gallery would seek the permission of each artist before a work is included in either exhibition.

It is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure that the original work is available for these purposes, whether or not they are the owner of the work.

Selected competitors agree to make themselves available for the purposes of exhibition-related events, promotion and publicity at times and dates and in places reasonably requested by the Gallery.

Original and non-infringing work

The competitor warrants that the work is original and does not infringe the copyright, moral rights or other rights of any third party.

Licensing the work

The finalist grants to the Gallery a non-exclusive licence to reproduce the work in material form, to photograph, publish and/or communicate it to the public for the following prize-related purposes, and anything incidental to such purposes, by the Gallery, touring partners and sponsors:

  1. marketing, publicity, educational and publication uses for the Gallery, the prize and its exhibition in all media, including but not limited to electronic/digital, broadcasting and print media, in perpetuity;
  2. in a print exhibition catalogue for sale, for the purpose of the exhibition and tour, with remuneration in the form of 10 copies, and/or an electronic form of the catalogue for sale, with remuneration in the form of one free download (subject to the catalogue/s being produced);
  3. on a postcard for sale, for the purpose of the exhibition and tour, with remuneration in the form of 50 copies (subject to the postcard being produced).

Permission to so reproduce the work must be conveyed by the artist to any purchaser of the work.

Where reasonable, the Gallery will attribute the artist as the author of the work and reproduce the work in full. Details of the work may be used at the Gallery’s discretion.

Selection of works

The finalists for the Archibald Prize, and the prize winner, are selected by the Trustees. The Packing Room Prize is selected by Gallery staff. The People’s Choice is selected by members of the public visiting the exhibition of Archibald Prize finalists at the Gallery.

The winner of the Archibald Prize receives payment of $100,000. The winner of the Packing Room Prize receives payment of $1000 and a $500 ANZ Visa gift card. The winner of the People’s Choice receives payment of $2500 and a $1000 ANZ Visa gift card. All amounts are in Australian dollars.

The prizes are NOT acquisitive (ie the works do NOT automatically enter the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection).

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence shall be entered into.

Finalists and prize winners will be announced to the media and published on the Gallery website at approx 12 noon on the same day: see Key Dates above. These artists will be advised beforehand.

Artists whose work is chosen for display will be asked to provide additional information (such as biographical details and a statement about the work) to assist with preparation of prize-related material.

Collecting the work

The competitor is responsible for organising the collection of their work during the time period specified by the Gallery (see Key Dates above) and must indicate on the entry form how the work will be collected. These are the ONLY options available for the return of works. There will be NO returns by Australia Post.

Competitors with works selected for display will be advised regarding collection dates.

The Gallery will NOT pay for any costs incurred in the collection of any entry.

If any competitor does not retrieve a work, the Gallery will give one month’s notice of the Trustees’ intention to sell or otherwise dispose of the work, by sending a notice by post to the competitor at the last known address or by placing a newspaper advertisement if no address is known. The Trustees may then sell the work and, after deducting from the proceeds the costs of and incidental to the sale, shall hold any balance for the competitor. If, however, it is the opinion of the Trustees that the work is unsaleable then the Trustees may destroy or otherwise dispose of it in any manner they deem fit and shall be under no liability whatsoever to the competitor in respect of the work so destroyed or disposed of.