The City of Albany art collection today consists of approximately 380 works of art with an emphasis on 20th century works by Australian artists. It has a strong focus on Western Australian artists.
It is very likely that the City of Albany art collection was commenced with artwork bequeathed by Claude Hotchin in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Claude was a self-made businessman and a supportive philanthropist of the Arts. He spent most of his life in Western Australia and during the course of his life bequeathed approximately 2000 artworks to various public institutions including Royal Perth Hospital, University of Western Australia and the Art Gallery of WA. He was a firm believer in art being accessible to many people and consequently donated a lot of his artworks to regional councils throughout WA, including Collie, Katanning, Northam, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Narrogin, Mt Barker, Manjimup, Bunbury, Busselton, Kojonup and Albany. Most regional art collections commenced with Hotchin’s bequests.
Acquisitive art prizes have existed within the City of Albany since 1963 with the local radio station, 6VA commencing the prize process with the ‘6VA Art Competition’. Since that time acquisitive art competitions have been funded and supported by the local council through the ‘Albany Art Competition’, ‘The Shire of Albany Prize’, ‘Albany Art Prize’, 'Centennial Art Prize', 'Great Southern Art Award’ and the ‘City of Albany Art Prize’. 37% of the art collection has been acquired through the prize process.