Len Fox Painting Award 2019

The Len Fox Painting Award is a highlight of the Castlemaine Art Museum 2019 Exhibition Program. The Len Fox Painting Award Exhibition opens on 8 June 2019 – 1 September 2019.

DOWNLOAD THE CATALOGUE HERE 201906004_LenFox2019_Catalogue!

Congratulations to the winner of the 2019 Len Fox Painting Award Betty Kuntiwa Pumani.

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani was announced on Friday 7 June as the winner of the 2019 Len Fox Painting Award by judge Geoffrey Smith, Chairman Sotheby’s Australia, at a gala exhibition opening at the Castlemaine Art Museum.

Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, Antara, 2018, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 198x183cm.

Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award

$1,000 awarded to the artist whose work receives the most votes by members of the public.
Generously supported by Sotheby’s Australia.

Come in and place your vote for the Sotheby’s People’s Choice Award at the Gallery – Thursday – Sunday 12-5pm until Sunday 1 September. The winning artist will be announced following the close of the exhibition.

Geoffrey Smith, Chairman of Sotheby’s Australia and judge of the 2019 Len Fox Painting Award said:

‘Betty Kuntiwa Pumani’s commanding composition Antara 2018 is a work of great power and beauty that invites us to engage, enquire and reflect.

As an Australian Jewish artist who travelled the world, Emanuel Phillips Fox was inspired by the co-existence of Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures that produced art that reconciled difference and otherness. Fox’s most celebrated compositions combine figuration with abstraction, an interest in light and atmosphere, and possess a great sensitivity to time and place. His work remains relevant as it honoured the past, reflected the present, and anticipated the future.

In celebrating the achievements and legacy of Emanuel Phillips Fox, The Len Fox Painting Award 2019 could not find a more befitting recipient than Betty Kuntiwa Pumani’s magnificent landscape Antara 2018, depicting a ceremonial site in the far northwest of South Australia and reflects on the importance of keeping our land healthy and safe.’

2019 Len Fox Painting Award Finalists

A record number of entries were received for this years prize. From the pool of 190 works, 48 finalists have been selected. The finalists are:

Amanda Marburg; Angela Brennan; Anh Nguyen; Ash Keating; Betty Kuntiwa Pumani; Brendan Nicholl; Christine Wrest-Smith; Claire Kirkup; Clare Leeuwin-Clark; Clive Sinclair; Dani McKenzie; David McLeod; David Moore; Dylan Jones; Ella Smart; Esther Olsson; Geoff Todd AM; George Gittoes; Greg Creek; Helen Cottle; Hilary Jackman; Jacqui Stockdale; Jan McNeil; Jane Grealy; Jesse Dayan; Jo Reitze; Judith Van Heeren; Jules McCue; Juliana Hilton; Kate Shaw; Kenneth Felstead; Liz Stute; Lori Pensini; Lyndell Brown & Charles Green; Lynne Boyd; Mark Howson; Rick Matear; Robert Malherbe; Robert Watson; Sally Ross; Sarah Summers; Seth Birchall; Stieg Persson; Stephen Bush; Stephen Lees; Stephen Pleban; Tony Irving; and, Yvette Coppersmith.

Thank you to everyone who entered.

Please feel free to download the PDF promotional poster to display in your workplace, school, business, gallery and so on. Fox_Poster(Print)

The Len Fox Painting Award is a biennial prize and is awarded to a living Australian artist (or Permanent Resident) to commemorate the life and work of Emmanuel Phillips Fox (1865–1915), the uncle of Len Fox, partner of benefactor Mona Fox.

E Phillips Fox (1865-1915) Bathing Hour c.1909, Oil on canvas, 180×112, T C Stewart Bequest Fund 1952, Acc. No. 318.

Administered by the Castlemaine Art Museum (CAM), the Fox Award recognises and promotes the work of Australian artists pursuing the artistic interests and qualities of E. P. Fox. These include:

  • An engagement with colour and light, particularly within the genres of landscape and figure painting;
  • Ambitious connections with international developments in art; and,
  • An interest in travel and an engagement with the cultures of diverse regions and peoples.

As an acquisitive prize, with an exhibition of shortlisted finalists, the Fox Award will enhance the exhibition program, art collection and national profile of CAM.Castlemaine Art Museum is honoured to have Geoffrey Smith, Chairman Sotheby’s Australia, as the 2019 judge.

The Fox Award will be made to a painting judged to have addressed the interests of E. P. Fox as an imaginative, inquisitive and worldly artist.

  • The painting may be made in any medium, subject to declared practical limitations.
  • Any style or genre is eligible; however, it is recognised that E. P. Fox is most noted for landscape, figurative and portrait paintings.

The award is funded through a bequest from Mona Fox, managed by the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum Trust (CAGHM Trust). The value of the award will be AU$50,000 (inclusive of GST).

The award will be acquisitive, with the winning painting becoming the property of CAM.
The award will be promoted nationally and will include an exhibition of shortlisted artists, supported by public and educational programs, and events.

The exhibition, which will include the previous winners of the Len Fox Painting Award alongside the five E. P. Fox works in the CAM collection, will be open from 8 June 2019 to 1 September 2019.

Key dates:

  • Entries Open Monday 4 February 2019
  • Entries Close Friday 26 April 2019
  • Artist advised of selection 13 May 2019
  • Opening and announcement of the winner Friday 7 June 2019
  • Exhibition Saturday 8 June until Sunday 1 September 2019
  • Collection of work Between 4-11 September 2019


If you have any questions, please email lenfoxaward@castlemainegallery.com.

Who are the previous winners of the Len Fox Painting Award?