Philanthropists and Collections

Philanthropists and collections – curator insights

Take a virtual walk through the exhibition with curator Samantha Littley and hear some of the stories behind the exhibition’s featured artworks and the generous donors who have helped shape the UQ Art Collection.

About the exhibition
Philanthropy has played a vital role in the evolution of the UQ Art Collection, which was established through a bequest from John Darnell, and continues to grow through the generosity of benefactors.

Philanthropists and collections reflects on the act of collecting through a selective survey of artworks donated to the University by organisations such as the Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland Inc. and altruistic individuals.

UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell said that since the inception of the Collection in the 1940s, the benevolence of donors had added significant shape to the Collection and the institution more broadly.

“There is a symbiotic relationship between patrons and artists, and the museums that display their work – when this relationship is strong, it can foster wonderful creativity and open up new, and previously unimagined opportunities,” Dr Gray said.

“The Collection is an invaluable resource – artworks underpin important discussions about contemporary issues, through our exhibitions and public program, and directly in classroom settings.”

Curator Samantha Littley said the exhibition celebrated the generosity of UQ Art Museum’s donors and their role in building the cultural heritage of the University, while also considering the impetus to give.

“As we developed this exhibition, we revisited our records and connected with donors to gain an insight into their motivations for donating artworks, and discovered many fascinating stories that have further enriched the records that we hold,” Ms Littley said.

“Quotes sourced from archives and living donors are displayed throughout the exhibition, providing personal insights that add meaning to the visitor experience.”

Philanthropists and collections is on show at UQ Art Museum until 4 June 2017

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