AGNSW announces Gowing bequest - Art Collector

29 November 2010 | Mollie Gowing, a long-term supporter of the Art Gallery of New South Wales has bequeathed the gallery a collection of 142 works plus a very generous legacy of $5 million to establish two endowment funds for acquisitions: one for Indigenous art and a larger one for general acquisitions.

The collection includes works by Arthur Boyd, Ian Fairweather, John Olsen, John Firth-Smith, Fred Williams, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri.

The publicity-shy Mollie Gowing, who passed away in December 2009, had a long association with the gallery spanning over 35 years, many of those spent as a volunteer guide.

In 1992 she came to the gallery to say her accountant had told her she might have some money to spare. The result was the Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art which for many years gave an average $50,000 a year.

Almost one-third of AGNSW’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection acquired since 1992 owes its presence to Mollie Gowing.

Jane O'Sullivan

Above: Mollie Gowing. Courtesy: AGNSW, Sydney

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