Monday, 17 Jun 2024

How to win the Archibald prize: what 100 years of data tells us

How to win the Archibald prize: what 100 years of data tells us


How to win the Archibald prize: what 100 years of data tells us

The Archibald can also be called a social history prize, says historian Joanna Mendelssohn.

In the beginning artists could submit an unlimited number of paintings every year : this meant artists like WB McInnes, who won the Archibald seven times, had 66 paintings hung over 17 years.

But the grand prize goes to Joseph Wolinski, who had more than 100 paintings entered and hung between 1921 and 1951. He never won.

With nine pieces, Vincent Sacco had the most artworks hung in one year. This was in 1945, the last year artists were able to enter so many works. He also never won.

There are no images at all for 4,000 works, and there are still some question marks hovering over the 2,000 remaining.

Just over 60 people have won an Archibald prize.

Most multiple-winners were active early-on, before artists were limited to two entries a year. This includes William Dargie, who won a record eight Archibald prizes, and inaugural winner McInnes, who won seven times.

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