Now open: Hans Wolter von Gruenewaldt: Artworks from Prisoner of War Camp 13 Murchison

The newest community exhibition has now opened at SAM.

The latest in the series of SAM SQUARED exhibitions, Hans Wolter von Gruenewaldt: Artworks from Prisoner of War Camp 13 Murchison opened in the Hugh D. T Williamson Foundation Community Gallery at Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) on 18 June.

Presented in partnership with Murchison & District Historical Society and the Murchison RSL sub-branch, the successful submission to the SAM EOI callout presents an exhibition that examines the visual legacy of German artist Hans Wolter von Gruenewaldt and brings a little-known piece of local history to the museum. A German civilian, Von Gruenewaldt fled from South Africa at the outset of World War II to avoid internment, only to be captured by the British Navy. He then spent the next six and a half years as a Prisoner of War (POW) in country Victoria. A talented artist, Von Gruenewaldt regularly occupied himself by exercising his creativity, eventually attracting the admiration of the camp commandant, who requested Von Gruenewaldt decorate the Garrison Recreation Hut. 17 large murals were created, a selection of which have been included in the exhibition, marking their first foray outside of the Murchison township.

Jessica O’Farrell, SAM Exhibitions Curator, says of the exhibition:

“This exhibition has created an opportunity to showcase a part of our region’s heritage and observe its landscape through the works of Hans Wolter von Gruenewaldt, which have been diligently maintained and safeguarded by both the Murchison & District Historical Society and the Murchison RSL. These artworks give us insight into the reality of daily life in the Murchison Prisoner of War Camp 13 and reveals the impact of international conflict so close to our home.”

On Thursday July 14, an evening talk will be held at SAM that will delve further into the history of both Hans Wolter von Gruenewaldt and POW Camp 13 Murchison, led by Kay Ball, President of the Murchison & District Historical Society and representatives from Murchison RSL. Event details and tickets will be available on the SAM website in the coming days.

Hans Wolter von Gruenewaldt: Artworks from Prisoner of War Camp will be on display until 11 September 2022. The exhibition, and all others at SAM, are free and open to the public. More details can be found on the SAM website:


About SAM:

Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), located on Yorta Yorta Country, is one of Australia's outstanding regional art museums, showcasing our exhibitions and collections in new and exciting ways and creating a welcoming, inclusive, and engaging space for all audiences. Artists are central to our work. Our programming is designed to be locally relevant and engage with global contemporary ideas. SAM is recognised for its significant Australian ceramics collection, and our nationally significant collection of Indigenous art. As the only public art museum in Greater Shepparton and north central Victoria, our mission is to present great art in Shepparton, and to contribute to the cultural enrichment, community engagement and economic prosperity of the region. 

Media enquiries, please contact: Mikela Guseli, Marketing Officer, SAM

p: (03) 4804 5009 e: