MCA & AGNSW join forces - Art Collector

15 October 2010 | The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales have teamed up to deliver an annual series of summer blockbuster exhibitions, the Sydney International Art Series.

Kicking off this November, the partnership will deliver two major exhibitions:
Annie Liebowitz: A photographer’s life 1990-2005 at the MCA; and The First Emperor: China’s Entombed Warriors at AGNSW.

The partnership, which is backed by Events NSW, will see both exhibitions staged at the same time, from early summer to March 2011.

MCA director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor says that by joining forces, “we can bring more focus to internationally renowned exhibitions presented by locally loved exhibitions”.

The Premier’s department estimates the series will attract more than 350,000 visitors to Sydney each year and generate up to $20 million in economic benefits for the state.

This may not be the most confident estimate, split as it as across two galleries – especially when compared to the National Gallery of Australia’s Masterpieces from Paris exhibition, which drew 476,000 visitors and was estimated to have pumped some $94 million into the local economy.

Nevertheless, the tag-team effort is a new strategy in a landscape that has seen the blockbuster exhibition take on increasing importance, particularly in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

Next year’s offering is also set to attract attention, with AGNSW director Edmund Capon securing an exhibition of over 200 Picasso works for the 2011-2012 series, anticipated to be the largest Picasso exhibition to ever come to Australia.

Jane O'Sullivan

The First Emperor: China’s Entombed Warriors will run from 4 December 2010 to 13 March 2011 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Annie Leibovitz: A photographer’s life 1990 – 2005 will open 19 November 2010 and close 27 March 2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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