The RQAS, from its modernised and functional new premises on Petrie Terrace, continues to achieve the original objectives of the Society to encourage Fine Arts and organise exhibitions in Brisbane.
The RQAS has a long, proud, though at times difficult, history. It was born from the wish of a group of like-minded people to share their love and interest in art and to establish a Queensland National Art Gallery (QNAG). Informal meetings in 1884 and 1885 brought together the group ultimately responsible for establishing the Queensland Art Society in 1887, the key figure being Isaac Walter Jenner. It was not all smooth sailing in the formative years due to infrequency of meetings, disagreement among members, lack of government support and concern over the works displayed in the first exhibition − a mixture of pictures on loan, copies and other non-original works. However the appointment of Richard Godfrey Rivers as president in 1891 brought a period of stability and a new policy of allowing only original works to be shown at exhibitions.