Update: Rayner Hoff Restoration – Save Art I Save History

The National Art School is very fortunate to have an extraordinary sculpture in our collection created by Rayner Hoff in 1920. Hercules, Achelous and Deianeira is a rare and significant work made by Hoff in London when he was a student at the Royal College of Art. Based on the Greek myth of the mortal Hercules fighting the river God Achelous for the hand of the king’s daughter Deianeira, the relief is a beautiful example of Hoff’s talent. Unfortunately over the years the work has been badly damaged and has been left with 18 cracks and crumbling plaster.

Our artwork is so damaged it cannot be displayed

We are going to restore Hercules, Achelous and Deianeira to its former glory, which requires careful, expert restoration. To restore the artwork is a specialist and complex undertaking. If fact there are only two people in Australia who can restore the work. Our specialist restorer’s process is much like putting a jigsaw puzzle back together. Once restored we will be able to proudly display this highlight of the NAS Collection.

How you can help

Contribute to our crowd funding campaign in which we need to raise $25 000, and help the National Art School Save Art, and Save History.


Thanks to your generosity, we have raised over $10 000 which will enable us to start the restoration process!

Save Art I Save History Champions

Thank you to the generous supporters who are helping us put the Rayner Hoff artwork, Hercules, Achelous and Deianeira back together again. Your support is greatly appreciated.

  • Alan & Sheila James
  • Alexandra Leafe
  • Amanda Morgan
  • Andrew Pethebridge
  • Anthony Kennedy
  • Angela Shacklady
  • Anthony Broadcroft
  • Anita Duffy
  • Anna Dudek
  • Anna Waldmann
  • Annette & Bill Blinco
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Banzinger Hulme
  • Bronwyn Hogan
  • Bruce Donnelly
  • Chantal Abouchar
  • Christine Myerscough
  • Colleen McGuigan
  • Danielle Neely
  • David & Linda Neely
  • Diana Lee-Gobbitt
  • Don Williams
  • Elizabeth Evatt
  • Emma Rennie
  • Eugenie Williams
  • Frances Sebesta
  • Geraldine Paton
  • Geoffrey Moore
  • Gillian Hughes
  • Graham Macdonald
  • James Hill
  • Jane Giblin
  • Janet Clayton
  • Jean-Pierre Halpern
  • Jill Sykes
  • Jisuk Han
  • Joyce Lubotzky
  • Judith Campbell
  • Katy Tyrrell
  • Lawrence Sayer
  • Liz Blaxland
  • Lyndal Coote
  • Lyuda Nikolenko
  • Meg Stewart
  • Michael Henstock
  • Noel Tait
  • Penelope Seidler AM
  • Phillip Black
  • Ronan Sulich
  • Sally Brady
  • Saxon Buckley
  • Skye McLachlan
  • Stephen Henstock
  • Stephen Thompson
  • Sue Dale
  • Susan Jones
  • Susan Roberts
  • Vera Vargassoff
  • William MacMahon
  • Zoe Wilesmith

Rayner Hoff: life and art exhibition

9—22 March 2017
Monday—Saturday 9am—5pm
Rayner Hoff Project Space, Building 11

Rayner Hoff was a talented and charismatic sculptor who established the School of Sculpture at the National Art School in 1922. An influential teacher and artist, he went on to become Head of School until 1937. He is best known for his major sculptures adorning the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, but he also designed the original Holden lion logo, won the Wynne Prize in 1927, and was considered the most gifted – and controversial – public sculptor in Australia at the time. This exhibition presents a selection of his work alongside those of his colleagues and students. The project, presented in the artist’s former studio, the Rayner Hoff Project Space, accompanies the launch of a major new biography, Rayner Hoff: the life of a sculptor, by NAS lecturer and historian, Deborah Beck.

Rayner Hoff: The life of a sculptor book

This biography tells the story of Hoff’s life and work for the first time, and how he spearheaded an Australian sculpture renaissance and left a mark that is still keenly felt today.

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