Archibald Prize

Medium / category: Painting and Portraiture

Eligibility: Australian / New Zealand citizens or permanent residents

Associated institution: Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Archibald Prize is awarded annually, in the terms of the will of the late JF Archibald dated 15 March 1916, to the best portrait, ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia during the 12 months preceding the date fixed by the Trustees for sending in the pictures’.

This open competition is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW. Finalists are displayed in an exhibition at the Gallery (in the early years all entrants were hung). Although it is a non-acquisitive prize, over 100 works from the Archibald are now in the Art Gallery’s permanent collection, having been bought by the Gallery or donated to the institution. As of 2023, there have been 600 plus artworks exhibited in the exhibition, from more than 34,000 entries. Among the selected finalists since the awards conception, around one-third are women.

Notable Previous Winners


  • Del Kathryn Barton, Hugo

Winner: Archibald Prize


  • Ben Quilty, Margret Olley

Winner: Archibald Prize


  • Brett Whiteley, Self Portrait in the studio

Winner: Archibald Prize

The Different Award Categories

The awards include the Archibald Prize, the Packing Room Prize and the ANZ People’s Choice. The Packing Room Prize was first awarded in 1991 and chosen by the Gallery staff who receive, unpack and hang the entries. ANZ People’s Choice was first awarded in 1988 and is now supported by presenting partner ANZ and voted for by the public visiting the Archibald exhibition.

Information up to date from June 14 2023