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The search is on for hundreds of missing portraits

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A nationwide hunt is underway to locate hundreds of missing Archibald Prize finalist portraits.

Art Gallery of NSW curator Natalie Wilson told Deborah Knight the gallery is trying to locate and obtain as many past finalists as possible in time for the prize’s centenary next year.

“We’re asking members of the public, was your great-aunt an amateur painter? Or is there a portrait that’s hanging in your family dining room and you’re not quite sure whether or not it could be an Archibald work?”

Among the lost artworks are two previous winners, from 1922 and 1958, and entries from respected artists like Weaver Hawkins, Charles Meere and Dorrit Black.

“We’ve got no idea where they are,” Ms Wilson said, encouraging anyone with information to contact the gallery.

The 99th Archibald Prize is set to be held later this year, with a date yet to be announced.

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Image: Art Gallery of NSW