Sidney Nolan, Riverbend 1964-65, oil on board, nine panels. The Australian National University Collection
On this page: About the Collection, Collection Management, Gifts to the Art Collection, Acquisition Policy, Contact, Related Information.
About the Collection
The ANU Art Collection was established in 1949. The collection promotes a broader understanding of visual culture with special reference to its educational and outreach priorities. It strives for excellence by building and maintaining a collection that reflects important developments in Australian art. The Collection comprises more than 1500 paintings, sculptures, drawings, limited edition prints, ceramic and glass objects by significant artists. These are displayed throughout the campus for the enjoyment of students, staff and visitors to the University. The main objectives of the Art Collection are to:
- develop a major public art collection for the purpose of demonstrating the University's continuing commitment to the study, patronage and advancement of the visual arts;
- foster a general awareness and understanding of the visual arts among the University community and members of the general public through education and other outreach activities;
- acquire works of art of demonstrable excellence and significance within the perceived developments of contemporary Australian art;
- enable research on the visual arts and support the teaching programs of the University; and
- acquire works of art suitable for the purpose of enhancing the public areas, both buildings and grounds, of the University.
The Art Collection represents an important cultural asset for the University and its community. The collection is available for education and research purposes and is promoted through exhibitions and publications.
The University provides suitable care and protection of the collection by:
- Ensuring the integrity and security of the objects in the collection by exhibiting, storing and caring for them in a professional manner.
- Employing registration procedures and maintaining appropriate records of the collection including cataloguing and continued research to museum standards.
- Ensuring that works are lent only to institutions which can provide satisfactory handling, security and environmental control and which meet all other conditions determined by the ANU, and enter into legally binding contractual loan agreements that indicate compliance.
- Implementing regular conservation management for portable and fixed art works.
- Periodically making sight inventories of the collection.
Gifts to the Art Collection
Much of the growth of the Collection in recent years has been due to the great generosity of people wishing to gift artworks to the University. Gifts to the Collection are eligible for the tax incentives provided by the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
You can support the Art Collection by contributing to the Visual Arts Foundation. The ANU Art Collection Acquisitions Advisory Committee determines the acceptability of gifts to the Collection according to their acquisitions policy. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Collections Officer.
The ANU Art Collection Acquisitions Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the Collections Officer, reviews all proposed acquisitions under the following guidelines and recommends proposed acquisitions to the Drill Hall Gallery and Art Collection Advisory Committee.
Guidelines for Acquisitions
- To purchase works of art by significant contemporary Australian artists.
- To acquire recent works of significant contemporary Australian artists who are already represented in the Collection with earlier works and of those artists who have specific links with the ANU.
- To ensure that outdoor sculpture is acquired for campus grounds at least every three years and that the commissioning of sculptures for specific sites is included.
- To give special consideration to the acquisition of at least one significant work by an emerging Australian artist every year.
- To ensure that the Collection demonstrates a commitment to fair representation of Australian women artists.
- At the Committee's discretion, to ensure that a particular opportunity to acquire an exceptional work of art is acted upon.
- Where the purchase of a major work by a major artist is not possible because of the cost, to apply to the artist or his/her trustees for extended loan of the work suitable for showing in the context of the Collection.
- Gifts to the Collection are encouraged with a view to enhancing the general congruence of the Collection. The Collections Officer, in consultation with the Acquisitions Advisory Committee, with the approval of the Drill Hall Gallery and ANU Art Collection Advisory Committee, and following the acquisition guidelines for purchases, accepts or refuses such offers of gifts as they occur.
ANU Art Collection
Drill Hall Gallery, building 29
Australian National University Canberra 0200 Australia
T: +61 2 6125 2501
F: +61 2 6125 7219