untangling the awkward relationship between art and money

The art of giving

I just wrote a piece for the Australian Art Sales Digest, looking at the most recent acquisitions at Australia’s three major state galleries. A few interesting take-outs from the research.

For one thing, the NGA looks like it’s putting its moolah where its collective mouth is when it comes to growing its collection of art by female artists, a particularly timely move with the much-anticipated release of the Countess Report tomorrow, reporting on gender equity in Australia’s art scene. Seems the whole #KnowMyName campaign might be more than hot air – which they’ll need a lot of now that Patricia Piccinini’s extraordinary Skywhale has entered the national collection.

For another, our major collections would be going nowhere without the generosity of individual donors – the great majority of acquisitions have come from artists, their estates, their families, and individual philanthropists and gallerists. And most of those have been supported through the Cultural Gifts Program.

Finally, the way the NGV reports its acquisition of works by Indigenous artists is very peculiar. More in my article on exactly what they do – and I’m sure they have their reasons. But have a look yourself… what do you reckon?

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