Major art donation for University of Melbourne - Art Collector

Pat Brassington, Camouflage, 2010. Pigment print, 55 x 80cm. Courtesy: the artist and ARC ONE Gallery, Melbourne

Property developer and art collector Michael Buxton has donated his private collection of Australian art to the University of Melbourne.

The landmark $26 million donation includes $10 million worth of artworks from prominent Australian artists, including Howard Arkley, Ricky Swallow, Tracey Moffat, Emily Floyd and Patricia Piccinini. A further $16 million will be dedicated to the construction of a purpose-built museum, the Michael Buxton Centre of Contemporary Art, expected to open in 2017.

Buxton dreamt that his collectio of over 300 artworks would serve as an educational resource and foster an appreciation of contemporary Australian art.

“By donating this magnificent collection to the University of Melbourne we are ensuring its longevity as a dynamic collection which will evolve and grow, educating future generations of students and serving as a resource for all Australians aspiring to understand or collect challenging contemporary art,” he explains.

The collection, which will operate in conjunction with the University’s Ian Potter Museum of Art, is expected to foster an innovative approach to student learning.

The University of Melbourne’s vice chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, thanked Buxton for his donation and its future contribution to Melbourne’s society. Davis says: “We believe the impact of this gift will be profound, enhancing the Southbank Precinct’s position as the heart of Melbourne’s cultural life.”

Larissa Bricis

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