Australian Art is Flying High After Qantas’s Donation to Tate London and MCA Sydney

A spotlight on Australia's contemporary art.

Qantas' Aboriginal art aircraft. Photo: thedesignair.net
MCA director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor welcomed Qantas' support of contemporary Australian art. Photo: businessinsider.com.au

MCA director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor welcomed Qantas’s support of contemporary Australian art.
Photo: businessinsider.com.au

Australian art is taking off! A generous donation of AUD 2.75 million ($1.9 million) from the philanthropic foundation of Australia’s national airline, Qantas, has enabled the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) and the Tate to launch a joint acquisition program for contemporary Australian art.

The donation marks the start of a five year plan to raise the international profile of contemporary Australian art through the strategic purchase of major work by leading contemporary Australian artists.

“As Australia’s national carrier we’re all about taking the best of Australia to the world. We are excited to be working with two leading institutions in the MCA, and the Tate, to provide opportunities for global audiences to connect with Australian art and artists,” Olivia Wirth, Qantas Group executive of brand marketing and corporate affairs said in a statement.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Photo: couplesholidays.com.au

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Photo: couplesholidays.com.au

Works acquired as part of the program will be jointly owned and displayed by the MCA and the Tate. According to a press announcement, the institutions are planning to buy a wide variety of art spanning from the late 1960s to the present, in a range of mediums.

In a coordinated selection and purchasing strategy, the museums will share resources and expertise to carefully select an exciting group of artworks which will be shown in a special exhibition at the MCA in 2016, before traveling to London for a show at the Tate.

Introducing contemporary Australian art to an international audience is meant to draw more attention to artists who, in an international context, have often been unrightfully overlooked.

An special exhibition of the acquisitions will travel to the Tate in 2016. Photo: Better Bankside

An special exhibition of the acquisitions will travel to the Tate in 2016.
Photo: Better Bankside

MCA director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor said “One of our core missions is to present Australia’s contemporary artists in an international context, stimulate dialogue and raise their profile on the global art scene. So we are very excited about what this collaboration means for Australian artists.”

Tate director Nicolas Serota added, “Thanks to the generosity of the Qantas Foundation, this new collaboration with the MCA will ensure both collections can represent Australian art at its best and its connections with the wider Asia-Pacific context.”


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