Paying it Forward: Recent Acquisitions to the University Art Collection
As you are aware at the moment, many galleries are launching online exhibitions during lockdown, but they are primarily using real-life exhibitions that are already installed and not able to be accessed by audiences at this time. By contrast, given that the Potter is currently closed for redevelopment, Paying it Forward: Recent Acquisitions to the University Art Collection only exists in a virtual space.
We hope that you enjoy this first of our online exhibition offerings in a museum space you may well recognise – the second floor galleries of the Potter’s Nonda Katsalidis building.
Since the presentation in 1881 by a group of Subscribers of the first art work for the University – a portrait of inaugural Chancellor The Hon Sir Redmond Barry KCMG (c. 1874) by G F Folingsby, the University Art Collection has benefited from the generosity of close to 140 years of giving. From the first major donation of a significant group of works by Dr Samuel Arthur Ewing in 1938; the ethnographic collection of Dr Leonhard Adam in 1960; the Grimwade Collection in 1973 and, most recently, the Michael Buxton Collection, the good will of donors has built the Collection into an extraordinarily rich and varied resource of over 17,000 objects. Uniquely tied to the University’s endeavours via personal and practical connections, whether through a bequest, portrait commission, artist-in-residence program, teaching activities or field research, 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.
Focusing on the work of contemporary artists, Paying it Forward showcases a number of acquisitions made between 2015 and 2019. During this time of isolation and restricted face-to-face engagement, we hope it serves to remind us of the generosity of our community and of the vitally important contribution of our artists, as they encourage us, through their work, to reflect on history; to contemplate our present, and to help us to imagine new futures and collective ways of being.