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Finding The Archibald (ATOM Study Guide)

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The awarding of the Archibald Prize for Portraiture has been an annual event in Australia since 1921, open to Australian residents. 2021 was the 100th anniversary of this award. The paintings celebrate our national heroes, in the broadest and rapidly changing meaning of that word ‘heroes’. And the annual exhibition of the finalists has never been more popular.

On the face of it, Finding The Archibald is an ABC arts series celebrating the centenary of the nation’s most popular arts prize! But beneath this title lies an intriguing three-part adventure into our identity as Australians, from who we were 100 years ago to who we are today. In short, it’s the social history of Australia told through the prism of 100 years of Archibald portraiture. This is quite literally a ‘cultural romp’ through time, led by art enthusiast, actor and film director, Rachel Griffiths.

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Finding The Archibald would be suited to students at any upper primary or secondary level studying Australian History, Australian Culture and Society, The Visual Arts – the History of Australian art over the past 100 years, Colour and Design and Portraiture and Media Studies – developing a narrative and creating history through a specific focus or subject.

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