Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize

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Frederick George Waterhouse

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize (formerly the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize) is an annual competition for artists, with a science theme. It is organised by the South Australian Museum[1] and is Australia's richest prize for natural history art with a prize pool of more than $110,000.

It was established in 2002 and named after Frederick George Waterhouse, who was the first curator of the Museum. He discovered 40 new species of fish along the SA coastline, collected plants, insects, reptiles, birds and mammals and was an avid naturalist.[2] The competition changed its name to "Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize" in 2013.[3]

There are three categories:

  • Works on Paper
  • Sculpture and Objects
  • Paintings

There is one overall award: the Waterhouse Art Prize ($50,000) There is one Peoples Choice ($5,000) and the Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize ($5,000). There is also an award for each of the category winners of $12,000. There are size weight limitations for submitted works.[4]

In 2013 the overall prize winner was Lynton artist, Judith Brown, for a cape made of leaves and bulb casings, entitled Flight of Fancy.[3]

The competition will not be held in 2015, due to a consultative review on the nature of the competition.[5]

Waterhouse Art Prize winners[edit]

  • 2014 Carole King for High Tide, Wynnum (painting)
  • 2013 Judith Brown for Flight of Fancy (cape)
  • 2012 Margaret Loy Pula for Anatye (Bush Potato)
  • 2011 Julie Blyfield for Scintilla Series-Spiralling weed, Soft sponge, Sea urchin (silver objects)
  • 2010 Nikki Main
  • 2009 Matilda Mitchell for Fish (painting)
  • 2008 Michael McWilliams for Bandicoot Playground (painting)[6]
  • 2003 James King for Winter Foliage #12

Sponsorship and donations[edit]

The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize receives sponsorship from public and private sectors. The prize is also supported by private donations.

In 2014, Gala launch principal sponsors were Beach Energy and the Government of South Australia. Exhibition prize sponsors were legal firm Fisher Jeffries, printer Finsbury Green and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).[7]

Private donations in support of the prize include:[7]

  • The Helen Hill Smith OAM Prize for Sculpture and Objects, which is presented by Sam and Robert Hill Smith in memory of their mother
  • The Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize, provided by 'her life’s companion'
  • The Paintings Prize is presented in recognition of San Remo


  1. ^ Christopher Sanders (July 2013). "Science + Art". The Adelaide Review. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  2. ^ "General Prize Information". Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  3. ^ a b Ashley Walsh (19 July 2013). "SA artists shine in Waterhouse Prize". 891 ABC Adelaide. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  4. ^ "Competition Rules for 2008". Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 
  5. ^ "Exhibitions". South Australia Museum. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Annual report of the South Australian Museum board 2008-2009 (PDF). Adelaide, South Australia: South Australian Museum. 2009. p. 8. ISSN 0375-1619. 
  7. ^ a b "Waterhouse Prize Sponsors and Supporters 2014". South Australian Museum. Retrieved 2015-02-05.