University of Queensland Art Museum
|This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (December 2016)|
|Former name||Darnell Collection|
|Established||1976, refurbished April 2004|
|Location||University of Queensland
St Lucia Campus
James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (Building 11)
|Collections||Australian artists from the colonial period to the present|
|Collection size||3,000 artworks|
|Owner||University of Queensland|
|Public transit access||University of Queensland ferry wharf
Park Road railway station
The University of Queensland Art Museum is the art museum and public gallery of The University of Queensland located in the James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre at the St Lucia, Queensland campus. The University of Queensland Art Collection is now the second largest public art collection in Queensland.
Originally known as the Darnell Collection, The University of Queensland Art Collection began in the 1940s as the result of a generous financial bequest by John Darnell. While funds were originally applied to endow a special library collection, the university redirected the remainder of these funds towards establishing a fine art library. At the time, The University of Queensland did not have an art museum, and the collection was hung in the main geology lab at the university's original home in George Street.
The inaugural exhibition of the collection was held in 1945 in George Street. Just over 30 years later, in 1976, the University Art Museum was established in the Forgan Smith Tower on the St Lucia campus. The first director of the art museum, and head of the Department of Fine Arts, was Nancy Underhill (later Associate Professor Underhill). Her focus was to acquire works by leading contemporary artists with a bias towards Queensland artists. Underhill was passionate about encouraging her students to use the museum as a ‘laboratory’, enabling them to learn a range of curatorial skills. Underhill was succeeded in 1996 by Ross Searle, who oversaw the art museum’s move in 2004, from the Forgan Smith Tower to its present site. Searle also implemented the art museum’s development of a National Collection of Artists’ Self Portraits and a bi-annual self-portraiture prize.
Over the years, the collection has grown significantly, and by the time Searle departed in 2007, it numbered over 2,500 pieces. The museum, under the directorship of Nick Mitzevich and now Campbell B Gray, has continued to acquire the work of important Queensland and Australian contemporary artists, and to encourage gifts and bequests. At over 3000 artworks, the museum's collection is the second largest public art collection in Queensland. In keeping with its role as a university art museum, a range of exhibitions and public programs, and scholarly publications, are initiated, which explore contemporary and historical visual art and culture.
- University of Queensland
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