The Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art is one of the University of South Australia’s leading creative centres; its establishment, in 2007, reflects the University’s determination to make a dynamic contribution to the intellectual and cultural life of South Australia and to the Australian tertiary education sector. The Samstag Museum of Art is located at the University of South Australia's City West campus and it is an easy 5 minute walk from the city centre. The City West precinct is home to the Lion Arts Centre and a concentration of galleries, cinemas and other arts organisations. These include the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, JamFactory, Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre, Media Resource Centre, Mercury Cinema, AC Arts, Lightsquare Gallery, Architecture Museum and the SASA Gallery.
The Samstag Museum of Art presents a changing exhibitions program of contemporary visual art, and art of the past that has relevance for us today. The program is intended to be of broad interest and educational value to a wide public community. We invite all our students, staff and visitors to the University to experience the creativity, innovation and excitement of many great Australian and international artists through the Samstag Museum of Art. Exhibitions and projects are developed by the Museum’s curatorial staff, most often from direct invitations to artists and curators or are touring exhibitions negotiated with partner arts organisations. Touring exhibitions presented at the Samstag Museum have included exhibitions from National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, White Rabbit Gallery, Australian War Memorial and the University Art Museums Australia (UAMA) collegiate. The Samstag Museum has also partnerships with the Adelaide Festival, OzAsia Festival, SALA Festival, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Visual Arts Festival, and Adelaide Film Festival. Exhibitions are developed collaboratively with these peak events in the South Australian arts calendar.
The Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art was established c. 1977 as the "College Gallery" of the South Australian College of Advanced Education (SACAE) at its Underdale campus. Over the next 30 years it had several names and locations.
Since October 2007 it has been the Samstag Museum of Art, located in the Hawke Building of the city west campus of the University of South Australia. The museum is named in honour of Anne & Gordon Samstag, "two distinguished American benefactors to Australian culture, whose remarkable bequest provides opportunities for Australian artists to study overseas."
The Samstag Museum is a founding member of the University Art Museums of Australia group (UAMA). The Museum is part of the University of South Australia’s International & Advancement portfolio.
The museum has hosted many notable exhibitions; details of exhibitions since 1991 can be found on the museum website. Notable recent exhibitions have included:
- 2015 Jul-Sep: Geoff Wilson: Interrogated Landscape
- 2015 Feb-Apr: do it (adelaide)
- 2014 Apr-Jul: Shaun Gladwell: Field Recordings
- 2013 Oct-Dec: Daniel Crooks
- 2013 Mar-Apr: Adelaide Festival: Laurie Anderson, The Language of the Future Selected works 1971 – 2013
- 2012 Oct-Dec: Jeffrey Smart paintings 1940–2011: Master of Stillness
- 2012 Apr-Jun: Sidney Nolan: The Gallipoli series
- 2011 Oct-Dec: Bill Henson: early work from the MGA collection, with selected recent landscapes
- 2011 Jul-Sep: White Rabbit: Contemporary Chinese Art Collection
- 2007 Oct-Dec: Wonderful World
The Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships were established in 1992 through the generous bequest of the late Gordon Samstag, an American artist who taught from 1961 to 1970 at the South Australian School of Art, now the School of Art, Architecture and Design, a part of the University of South Australia. Samstag Scholarships are awarded by the University of South Australia on behalf of Mr Samstag's Trustee: US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Naples, Florida, USA. The Samstag Program is administered through the Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art. Gordon Samstag's remarkable gift ranks as one of the very great bequests to visual arts education in Australia. The Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships are awarded for study overseas in the visual arts. Each scholarship includes a tax–exempt stipend of institutional fees and return airfares. 128 Samstag Scholarships have now been awarded.
ART AFTER DARK West End
Samstag Museum of Art is proud to be a part of ART AFTER DARK West End , an initiative which brings the West End of Adelaide alive with a calendar of arts events, on Thursdays from 5pm. Our doors remain open after work hours, with exhibitions, films, music, talks, food, beer and wine, workshops and more. For current events, participating venues and supporters, please check the website.
The University of South Australia Art Collection is developed and managed through the Samstag Museum of Art in accordance with the UniSA Art Collection Policy. Works of art from the Collection are displayed throughout the University campuses to enhance the buildings and grounds. The Collection is intended to foster enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts within the University community and amongst its visitors. Established for research and display purposes, collecting began in the early 20th century. The Collection includes works by predominantly South Australian artists from 1970s onwards, as well as the Max Hart Collection of Aboriginal bark paintings, the Chamberlain and Lyons Collections of South Australian ceramics, and the Samstag Collection featuring works by Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship alumni. The University also supports South Australian artists through the commissioning of public works of art that are strategically placed in key sites to enrich the University environment and stimulate its community. Highlights include Fiona Hall, Timothy Horn, Aleks Danko, Jeffrey Smart and Sydney Ball. See our highlights webpage for more details.