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Why was the TMPS formed?
The TMPS was formed as a break-away group from the Victorian Artists Society in 1918, when Max Meldrum was unseated as VAS President after one year in office. His supporters abandoned the VAS and formed their own society – The TMPS was born.

What is the purpose of the Society?
The TMPS was formed to promote the tonal realist and tonal impressionist approach to painting and related observational and depictive styles of painting.

Who was Max Meldrum and what was his philosophy?
Max Meldrum was a Scottish born artist who established himself in Melbourne Australia in the early 20thC. He formulated an approach to painting based on a ‘scientific’ analysis of appearances which recognised tonal values as the most critical element in any painting. He was a polarising figure but established a very large and loyal following known as Meldrumites. His influence remains to this day.

Does the TMPS have a Constitution and is it an Incorporated Association?
Yes. The Founding Members established a Constitution to govern TMPS activities and membership rules in 1923.This Constitution was updated and revised when the TMPS was formally Incorporated in the 1980s in accord with the Incorporated Associations Act.

Why are there only 20 members?
Membership has always been limited to twenty members as written in the TMPS Constitution. This is based on the twenty members who abandoned the Victorian Artists Society in 1918 in support of Max Meldrum. A complete list of these Founding Members appears under “Past Members” on this website.

What are the criteria for membership?
Typically TMPS members have a direct connection to the past membership, having been taught, mentored or supported by previous TMPS generations. They can trace their direct links to our Founding Members and the Meldrum school of painting.

To be considered for membership nominees must be professional painters who have earned peer respect and established a solid record of achievement in representational painting.

How are members chosen?
An internal nomination process. When vacancies arise, TMPS member are invited to nominate suitable painters for membership. A short-list is drawn up and voted on by the full membership in secret ballot as required by the TMPS Constitution. A two thirds majority vote is required for the candidate to be invited to join. Applications for membership are not accepted.

Is membership for life?
Yes, membership is granted for life. Vacancies normally arise though natural attrition, but from time to time members may choose to retire from the society for personal reasons.

Who selects the paintings for the annual exhibition?
There is no selection. As professional artists with the capacity to recognise the merit and motive in their own work, each member is entitled to choose and exhibit any paintings they consider suitable. 

Are there prizes at the exhibition?
No. There is no competitive aspect to the exhibition whatsoever. All members are equal under the Constitution.

Where are the TMPS exhibitions held?
From 1919 TMPS exhibitions were held at the Athenaeum Gallery in Collins St. Melbourne. In the 1950s TMPS exhibitions were held at the VAS Galleries. From 2001 until 2023 TMPS exhibitions were mounted at the Glen Eira City Art Gallery in Caulfield.

What is the association between the TMPS and the A.M.E. Bale Scholarship?
TMPS Founding Secretary Miss Alice Marion Ellen Bale left provision in her Will for a scholarship to be established in her name. The terms of her Will state that the scholarship must be judged by the members of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society. The TMPS continues to honour this responsibility conscientiously respecting Miss Bale’s express wishes.

Does the TMPS offer services to exhibitions or art schools?
TMPS members regularly teach and lecture to students of art schools and societies. Many of our members regularly conduct local and international workshops. Members also judge art competitions throughout Australia.

Are TMPS members available to contact?
Members may be contacted for commission work, teaching and judging appointments through this website via personal email or our “Contact Page“.