Enter the Archibald Prize
Entries for the Archibald Prize 2021 have now closed
No further entries can be accepted.
The information below is provided as a record only.
The Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales invite artists to submit paintings in competition for the Archibald Prize 2021.
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 $3000 (increased from $1500)
- ANZ People’s Choice – value $5000 (increased from $3500)
To be considered for selection, the artist must comply with all entry instructions and conditions.
- Date of work: must be completed 30 April 2020 – 30 April 2021
- Eligibility period: resident in Australia/New Zealand 30 April 2020 – 30 April 2021
- Delivery of entries BY COURIER: 8am-4pm, 19–23 April 2021
- Delivery of entries BY ARTIST OR REPRESENTATIVE OR COURIER: 8am-4pm, 26–30 April 2021
- Collection of works not selected EXCEPT if sending courier: 8am-4pm, 31 May – 11 June 2021 (Monday to Friday only)
- Collection of works not selected IF sending courier: your courier company will be advised
- Collection of works selected for Archibald Prize or Salon des Refusés: selected artists to be advised
- Finalists and Packing Room Prize winner announced: 27 May 2021
- Archibald Prize winner announced: 4 June 2021
- ANZ People’s Choice winner announced: 1 September 2021
- Archibald Prize 2021 exhibition: 5 June – 26 September 2021, followed by a tour
- Salon des Refusés exhibition: 5 June – 15 August 2021
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, the artist may enter one work only. This does not prevent the artist entering other works in other competitions such as the Sulman or Wynne Prizes.
- 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.
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 any entry arriving from outside Australia, the artist 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.
The Gallery recommends each artist maintains their own insurance for packing and transit to and from the Gallery. Whilst the works are in the care, custody or control of the Gallery, the Gallery will provide cover in accordance with the NSW Treasury Managed Fund Statement of Cover. Cover will commence upon receipt of delivery at the Gallery until such time as the work is collected or returned after any subsequent exhibition tour.
Exhibiting the work
The artist grants the Gallery permission to display the work:
- in an exhibition of selected finalists for the Archibald Prize 2021 at the Gallery or such other venue as the Trustees may in their absolute discretion determine (see Key Dates above); and
- at venues other than the Gallery in an exhibition of all or some of the finalists for the Archibald Prize 2021, including in a tour of regional New South Wales and possibly of another state.
Alternatively, the Gallery may display the work either in an exhibition of works that were not selected as finalists for the Archibald Prize 2021 (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 2021, held at the offices of the principal sponsor of the Archibald Prize 2021. 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 artist’s responsibility to ensure that the original work is available for these purposes, whether or not they are the owner of the work.
Selected artists 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 artist warrants that the work is their original work and does not infringe the copyright, moral rights or other rights of any third party.
If the artist is selected as a finalist, the artist grants to the Gallery a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual licence to reproduce (including photograph) the work in material form, publish and communicate the work to the public for the following purposes, and anything incidental to such purposes: marketing, publicity, educational, publication (for sale or otherwise) and archival uses of the Gallery in relation to the prize and its exhibition in all media, including electronic/digital, broadcasting and print media.
The licence above includes the right to sublicense to the Gallery’s touring partners and sponsors in accordance with its agreements with those persons.
Where the work is reproduced under licence in the following items, the artist will be compensated as follows by the Gallery:
- 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); and
- 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).
Any other merchandising rights (other than publications) are not included in the licence and would be agreed separately.
It is the artist’s responsibility, not the Gallery’s, to advise any purchaser of the work, or rights in the work, of these licensed rights.
The Gallery will attribute the artist when exhibiting, reproducing or publishing the work or communicating the work to the public, unless it is reasonable in all the circumstances not to do so, or the artist has consented in writing, and the Gallery will use its reasonable endeavours to ensure that touring partners and sponsors do the same. The artist consents to the display of the work, including in relation to any other work in relation to the exhibition, tour and the prize.
The Gallery will generally reproduce the work in full. However, details of the work may be used under the licence above at the Gallery’s discretion, and the artist consents to any such use. The Gallery will not make other material changes to the work without the prior written consent of the artist, unless it is reasonable in all the circumstances to do so, and will use its reasonable endeavours to ensure that touring partners and sponsors do the same.
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 ANZ 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 plus a cash prize of $500 from ANZ. The winner of the ANZ People’s Choice receives payment of $2500 plus a cash prize of $1000 from ANZ. 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 approximately 12 noon on the same day: see Key Dates above. These artists will be advised beforehand.
An artist 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 artist 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.
For artists sending couriers for pickup, collection will be from an offsite location during a period specified by the Gallery. These works cannot be collected until notified by the Gallery. The Gallery will contact the nominated courier with this information.
The Gallery will NOT pay for any costs incurred in the collection of any entry.
If the artist does not collect 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 email or post to the artist at the last known address or by placing a notice on the Gallery website 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 artist. 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 artist in respect of the work so destroyed or disposed of.
Where, for any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Gallery (including, for example, earthquake; flood; fire; act of God; terrorism; pandemic; government directions, orders or regulations; labour strikes or other emergency event), the Gallery is prevented or materially hindered from holding the competition or an exhibition of works at the Gallery then it may vary, postpone or cancel the competition by notice in writing to that effect to the artists and by a notice on its website.