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The Aldridge Collection.


Pictured are brothers Ron (left) and Ross (right) Aldridge showcasing some of their collection of Indigenous Art at their 2022 exhibition at Bright Art Gallery.

Ross and Ron Aldridge are serious collectors of Australian art and have exhibited parts of their collection in various regional galleries. Their expertise and knowledge, especially about indigenous art, is invaluable. They have supported many art shows, societies and exhibitions and continue to collect important works. Here is an invited article they have written for our website. We hope you enjoy it.

Once a year we look at a collection of fine art by the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society artists and as I stand here my mind has a flash back to when we started our collection of art.

In the early 1970’s our mother’s sister was paintings scenes from around Corryong, so off we would go to local art shows to see her works on display. We would see paintings of other artists on show. A well known local artist lived close by so we bought one of his works for our parents 34th wedding anniversary.

In 1976 before we could bring it home, our mum died of cancer. It arrived home and we hung it on a wall. It looked very good, so our collection began.

During this time we would hang out at the library reading books and taking many home to study. Some books went over due and we had to pay a fine. A good book to buy was the Australian Art Auction that came out every two years. A great place to pick up good art very cheaply was clearing sales; artists like Sir Charles Wheeler, Sir Eric Lanker and Ramon Horsfield just to name a few.

People soon caught on to us and they followed us around the items on sale. Time to catch them out by picking up a very dirty old print, both of us would look at it, flash it to the light and point to things in the frame, then put it back and walk back several steps. Sure enough they would be looking at the old print, it was always good for a laugh.

We soon found out that the Victorian Artists Society had a yearly art bargain sale. Time to have extra work to be cashed up to buy works by the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society artists, all good buys and we often bid like hell.

In 1984 one of us was elected convener of the local art show. Many a painting would pass before our eyes, some good, some not so good. Folks would come to us and say is number 179 any good? Most times it would be OK or we would say “have another look”. At the art show good buys were Judith Wills, Judith Perry, Wyeham Perry and Ramon Horsfield, with whom we shared many glasses of red wine.

When the internet came along it was a lot easier to look up artists, just a click away, and to look up auction results.

When we saw an artist that we liked, we would follow that artist for two years before buying any works, just to make sure that the work was not a one off, but a constant turn out.

Time to have a good look at the twenty Melbourne Painters Society Exhibition 2024 which is in August.

Ross and Ron Aldridge