The Art Gallery of Western Australia will build a world-renowned contemporary art collection, thanks to a multi-million dollar acquisition fund campaign now under way.
Premier Alan Carpenter launched the campaign with the announcement that four corporations had pledged $4million in total.
These significant donations build on the State Government’s initial commitment of $10million announced in December 2007 as part of the Ignite package designed to transform WA’s cultural landscape.
“The new acquisition fund is the direct result of a challenge issued to the corporate and private sectors to help the State Government to create an arts legacy for future generations of Western Australians,” Mr Carpenter said.
“I am delighted to say that the fund has got off to a great start with pledges of $1million each from BHP Billiton, National Australia Bank, Wesfarmers and Woodside.
“I promised that we would provide a further $5million to the fund if the broader community contributed $10million - making a total of $25million to be spent on acquiring contemporary art of outstanding quality and worldwide significance.
“This would make it one of the largest in Australia.
“Because of the generosity of these corporations, our Government will commit half of the $5million incentive when private and corporate sector pledges reach $5million.”
The announcement was made at the preview of the Art Gallery’s Wonderlust New journeys Your collection, a dynamic new presentation of the State Art Collection, featuring indigenous, Australian and international art, craft and design acquired since the gallery’s inception in 1895.
Culture and Arts Minister Sheila McHale said the acquisition fund would build a contemporary collection of indigenous, WA, Australian and international art.
“This immediate injection into the campaign makes the target of $10million so much closer and, with the efforts and generosity that we anticipate, I am confident the fund will ultimately hold $25million,” Ms McHale said.
“In 1896, the gallery made the bold move of purchasing ‘Down on his Luck’ from a relatively new but exciting artist, Frederick McCubbin - that painting is now a national treasure.
“In more recent times, it purchased works by Rover Thomas and Lucian Freud which have become the cornerstone of an international and indigenous contemporary collection.
“This new acquisition fund will allow the gallery to create a world renowned State Art Collection that is the pride of every Western Australian and a great asset for the State.”
Premier’s office - 9222 9475
Office of the Minister for Culture and Arts - 9213 6900