Skip to main content

Frank Watters OAM

b. 1934

Geoffrey Legge (b. 1935) and Frank Watters (b. 1934) have run Watters Gallery in Darlinghurst since 1964. Watters grew up in a working-class milieu in Muswellbrook and left school at 15 to work in the coal mines. Having developed an interest in art he moved south and served his apprenticeship in dealing under Barry Stern, then one of the leading gallery owners amongst the very few in Sydney. Legge was born in Uganda and educated at Charterhouse before coming to Australia, where he studied economics at the University of Melbourne. In 1963 he rented a house next door to Stern's gallery and began to 'hang around' there; in due course the men decided to open their own gallery in Liverpool Street, Surry Hills. Legge, deferring to Watters's more practised eye for art, insisted that the gallery be named Watters. In 1969 the gallery moved to Riley Street, where it became an intellectual and artistic hub attracting the likes of Patrick White, who bought many works for the benefit of artists and, ultimately, the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Updated 2019