Artist Ruby Campbell's niece Heather Stewart at the Gladstone Art Gallery and Museum.
Artist Ruby Campbell's niece Heather Stewart at the Gladstone Art Gallery and Museum. Mike Richards

Ruby Campbell art collection donated to Gladstone gallery

FAMED artist Ruby Campbell's family has donated her entire collection of works to Gladstone.

The family of the central Queensland artist whose works form one of the exhibitions launched on Friday at the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum, donated about 40 drawings, etchings and watercolours.

Ms Campbell's family made the announcement at the official opening of The Ruby Campbell Collection Exhibition.

Heather Stewart, the artist's niece, spoke on behalf of her family to the crowd of stunned and delighted onlookers.

"We realised we were not in a position to look after this work so a decision was made to give it to the gallery, where it can be taken care of," she said.

Campbell led an extremely productive and varied life, Ms Stewart told The Observer.

She ran a farm at Kilburnie, near Biloela, on a property that is now heritage listed and maintained by Ms Stewart's daughter.

She said it was an honour to be handing over Campbell's art and celebrating her life and achievements with the art community of the Gladstone region.

"I think she would be very happy with what's happened to her work," Ms Stewart said.

"She would hardly believe it had come to this. She was very modest. She didn't believe she was a very good artist.

"She just loved doing it."

Art gallery and museum curator Jo Duke said: "I'm beside myself with excitement. We're so privileged."

The value of the artworks is not yet known, but will be determined as part of the gallery's gift acceptance process.

Ruby has long been celebrated by the Gladstone art community.

Campbell was born in 1888 and died in 1977.



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