About - Ian Potter Museum of Art


The Potter engages with creativity and encourages learning through art

The Ian Potter Museum of Art was founded in 1972 and is the University of Melbourne’s art museum. Housed in an award-winning building opened in 1998, its exhibitions and associated programs have supported countless artists, curators, writers and academics and have made a significant contribution to the cultural and social wealth of the University community – especially students – as well as to the City of Melbourne and the State of Victoria.

The University of Melbourne Art Collection holds works ranging from antiquity to contemporary art, including international and Australian Indigenous material culture and works by major Australian artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Extraordinary in its breadth the collection – now numbering some 18,000 objects – is uniquely tied to the University’s endeavours. In recent years the development of the collection has extended beyond this important foundation to reflect the broader community and the role of the University as a place of learning central to the cultural life of Melbourne.

Embracing research, intellectual curiosity and discovery, the Potter is committed to extensive participation in the University’s interdisciplinary degree structure. We aim to make art and the University’s collections central to teaching and learning and actively contribute to curriculum development across all faculties through our exhibitions and programs and through real world engagement with objects and issues.

As a space that encourages active dialogue and debate, the Potter is uniquely placed to make a difference to the lives of our audiences and, within the University, to make the experience of art and the role of creativity relevant, enjoyable and of value to the next generation.


To provide a contemporary lens on creative cultures past and present and establish a platform through art that generates conversations and debate.

To collect, preserve, display and interpret works of art within a multidisciplinary context; to challenge and engage audiences; and to advance the appreciation of cultural heritage on a local, national and international level; thereby contributing to the University of Melbourne’s activities as a leading teaching and research institution.


The centrality of art and artists to everything we do

The power of art to inspire and challenge

The contribution of the Potter as a distinctive voice

The role of the Potter as a portal to the University

University Art Museums Australia

The Potter is a proud member of UAMA (University Art Museums Australia). Australian university art museums are leading and dynamic contributors to the intellectual and cultural life of the nation.