This exhibition space, completed in 1893, was originally used to display watercolours, etchings and drawings, as well as some sculptures (NGV 1894, section II).

A similar selection of works was shown there in 1905 (overview reproduced here from NGV 1905, p.80), with some additions, notably Herkomer Queen Victoria  {1892} NGV [PA], prominent on the end wall, and, in the centre of the room, Mackennal Madame Melba 1899 {1900} NGV [SC], a recent gift by the famous singer herself. The statue behind the bust of Melba is probably * Canova [attrib.] Eve {1885} Loc? [SC], no longer in the collection.

Unfortunately, many of the etchings shown in this room during the 1890s and 1900s have suffered from excessive exposure to light: see now Etchings – Introduction.

In the current SLV, this room, renamed the Cowen Gallery, is the main exhibition area for works from the library’s picture collection.