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Geoffrey Legge and Frank Watters
, 2008

by Gary Grealy

inkjet print (frame: 124.0 cm x 148.0 cm, image: 75.0 cm x 100.0 cm)

Geoffrey Legge (b. 1935) and Frank Watters (b. 1934), art dealers, have run Watters Gallery in Darlinghurst since 1964. Watters grew up in Muswellbrook and left school at fifteen to work in local coal mines. Having developed an interest in art he moved south and gained a job with Barry Stern, then one of the leading gallery owners amongst the very few in Sydney. Geoffrey Legge was educated in England before coming to Australia, where he studied economics at the University of Melbourne. In 1963 Legge rented a house next door to Stern's gallery and began to 'hang around' there; in due course he and Watters 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. Renowned, themselves, for integrity, Legge and Watters are also dedicated to showing artists who are 'totally committed to their work'. Legge's son, Jasper, joined the business in early 2010 intending to bring new artists into the Watters fold, but died without warning a few months later

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2010
Accession number: 2010.120