art forum CONVERSATION: Christopher Menz

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

‘Why don’t they just sell off this stuff?’: Decorative Arts and Design in Australian Collections

Australia’s rich and diverse public art collections are home to tens of thousands of decorative arts and design objects, from many countries and cultures and spanning several centuries. What do these objects of decorative utility tell us about our collecting institutions? How have collecting interests changed? What led to the formation of collections and of decorative arts and design and where are they headed in the future?

Christopher Menz is an art consultant based in Melbourne, Australia. From 2005 to 2010 he was Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. In 2011–12 he was Acting Director at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne. Christopher has published and lectured extensively on Australian and European decorative arts, notably on the design work of William Morris, and curated numerous exhibitions.