Mega-Collector Michael Buxton Building New Contemporary Art Center

Hundreds of works will soon go on public view for the first time.

"October from Gentle series," (2001) pigment print, 65 X 46cm; "By the Way, "(2010) pigment print edition 8 AP, 90 X 72cm. Via

Collector Michael Buxton announced on Wednesday that he will donate AUS$26 million to create a new contemporary art museum in Melbourne.

The donation includes $10 million worth of art from his impressive collection. The 300 works are by 53 major contemporary artists including Howard Arkley, Ricky Swallow, Tracey Moffat, Emily Floyd, Patricia Piccinini, and Bill Henson.

The Australian property mogul will also put forth $16 million to construct a new building for the gallery that will be called the Michael Buxton Centre of Contemporary Arts (MBCOCA).

Buxton hopes that the collection will serve as an educational resource to help foster an appreciation for contemporary Australian art.

“By donating this magnificent collection to the University of Melbourne we are ensuring its longevity as a dynamic collection which will evolve and grow, educating future generations of students and serving as a resource for all Australians aspiring to understand or collect challenging contemporary art,” said Buxton.

Buxton chose the University of Melbourne partly because the institution agreed that the Buxton family could remain involved in operations. Buxton and his wife and daughter will sit on the board and manage the collection for two years. He has also pledged operational costs for the museum for the next 20 years.

“Art is to be admired. It shouldn’t sit in storage as a lot of our art does today. The Michael Buxton Collection has brought incredible joy to mine and my family’s life over the years and it gives me enormous satisfaction to know that the Collection will carry on well into the future through the partnership with Melbourne University,” Buxton told the media on Wednesday.

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