Richard Larter Pause for Thought 1974

Five Decades at Watters Gallery


Watters Gallery opened in Darlinghurst in November 1964, and since then has become one of the leading galleries on the Sydney visual arts scene. Led by Frank Watters, Geoffrey Legge & Alexandra  Legge, Watters Gallery has represented significant artists of every era and this exhibition, which celebrates its 50th anniversary, will feature works by Tony Tuckson, Robert Klippel, James Gleeson, Richard Larter, John Peart, Ken Whisson, Vicki Vavaressos, Helen Eager and Euan Macleod amongst others, in a survey which also traces the developments in the visual arts in Sydney over the past five decades.

Frank Watters and Geoffrey Legge met while Frank was working at the Barry Stern Gallery in Paddington and Geoffrey lived next door. They decided to open a gallery together and the opening exhibition, which was held in a sandstone terrace in Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, was opened by the art world doyenne Margo Lewers. Watters & Legge were idealistic and impassioned directors whose exhibition program included experimental performances and installations with artists engaged in political, social and environmental issues. Showing readily saleable art was not foremost in their minds.

The reputation that the Watters Gallery has forged in its 50 year history is one of loyalty and integrity in its dealings with its artists and collectors. Many of the artists have exhibited with the gallery for a number of years and have become close friends of Watters & Legge. They share a deep commitment for their artists and belief in their practice, which has sustained both artists and the gallery. Watters Gallery has nurtured a generation of important practitioners, with many of their clients enjoying a long relationship with the Gallery.   


Join us for a day trip to the Hunter Valley! 

In conjunction with Five Decades at Watters Gallery, we will visit Maitland Regional Art Gallery to view the new exhibition Vicki Varvaressos: the story so far, with exhibition talk by director Joseph Eisenberg, OAM, followed by lunch at SĂ©raphine CafĂ© and finally enjoy an exclusive tour to Paul Selwood's sculpture park. 

$130 for non-Trust members, $120 for Trust members. Places are limited, so book now! 

Download your booking form here 


Sunday afternoons @ the Gallery 

Sunday 12 October 3pm 

Join John McPhee, art historian, curator, and author, as he discusses the history of Sydney's iconic Watters Gallery


Sunday 19 October 3pm 

Join Jane Watters, director, S.H. Ervin Gallery for an exhibiton floor talk.


Sunday 26 October 3pm 

Join artists Euan Macleod and Chris O'Doherty (aka Reg Mombassa) as they discuss their works in the exhibition, along with curator and art writer Glenn Barkley


Sunday 2 November, 3pm

Join artist Ann Thomson as she discusses her work from the 1960s, along with Sonia Legge about the future of Watters Gallery. 



Gina Fairley, Legends with a 50-year legacy, Arts Hub 23 September

Elizabeth Fortescue,  Watters Gallery celebrates 50 years with tribute show opened by National Gallery Director Ron Radford, The Daily Telegraph online September 19 2014. 

Owen Craven, Watters Gallery 50th Birthday, Artists Profile, September 19   

Tracey Clement, Five Decades at Watters Gallery, Art Guide, September 19 

Owen Craven, Five Decades at Watters Gallery: An exhibition and a legacy, 28 August 

John McDonald, Watters Gallery exhibition: celebrating a positive force in Australian art, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 27 

Rose Niland Five decades at Watters Gallery nurturing art and artists, The Culture Concept Circle


Opening Hours

  • TUES - SUN:  11am-5pm
  • Last admission 4.30pm
  • Closed Mondays & public holidays


  • (02) 9258 0173  
  • Email Us
  • GPO Box 518
    Sydney NSW 2001


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