Home' Art and Australia : Vol 29 No 4 Winter 1992 Contents luhan,modellcdr,}Gu'"..ppeGneel,Re.IS3r,r,ncad,
C3podlmome, Napl~, Flgu,e Goffredo mourning at the
tomb or Dudone, I H5-50, porcelaIn, 32 x 28 em, Naw",,,]
GalieryoFV,ctona, Mel hournt Fdtonlkqu,",1 1991
Rlglu hall..n (Urbmo) b), Frar.:;e5<:o X,mho A,'dh,
1'I.,e Vulcan . Venus and Cup,d,c. 1528, e3nhenw" e,
NalLonal Ga llef)-' of V,,(on., Mdbou me
I'm thmkmg, for example, of Japanese
and Chmese calligraphy and painting,
ASian ceramics generally, Japanese pnnts
Asian art IS one field where, If you are per-
you can buy so far ahead of the
that trustees are sometimes a bit
concerned that things coming in at such
low cost can't be as good as we're saying
I suppose one example of llwt was the
Rajas/han mmiatures which I think Dr Holf
purchased In 1980
Yes, and there are opportunities to buy as
well as that in
areas of the collection.
Take, for example, Capodimrmre figure
group. [t IS an object of the very highest
qualuy. Instead of buying twenty ceramics
dunng the yea r for the same money we
pounced on this single great work
Remember that the NGV hasn't spent
largely on the international market since
the 19405. It's not high on anybody's list of
priorities when they have an for sale
But it used to be. In the 1920s and I930s.
And immediately post-War. And in those
years many things of only average quality
came in to the collection .
Suppose a number of your curators argue
strongly for the purchase of a hey objeC/ Jor
their coUeaio n. How is a priority eS!ablished,
give n that very liu!e can be purchased? Is one
curatorial depanment seen as more needy
1 haven't been swamped by curators pre-
senting magnificent matenal for acquisi-
lion, mainly because the Gallery does not
have the comracts. Umil recently, staff of
the Gallery were not allowed to travel over-
seas. Its still difficulL to get permission for
them to stay over when on courier trips
paid for by other institutions. Unless staff
can regularly search the market, dealers for-
get about us
\.Vhat about advisrrs srationed overseas.
such as the Felton Bequest advisers? Can you
sti!! rely on that hind oj advice?
The Felton Bequest advisers were impor-
tant in the days when there was no cu Ito.
rial expertise here. Today they· are m tnl)'
used for opinions on things that cur tors
have found. They aTe no longer pal to
search out pOl enllal acquisitions
Much oj the Egyptian collection. for e' .:Im·
pie, came into being thmugh thI S GaUer) m·
volvemenl with archaeological digs
Most of that matenal was gl\'en to u be.
cause the Gallery su pported the r :ypt
Exploration Fund and the British Sch( l of
Archaeology in Egypt. The Egyptian c( lee
tion here containS three or four thm ,; of
real consequence and the rest is 51 1pl}'
So whal do you do with a coUcetim Jikt
Until we have a curator of Antiquitit
can't do anything at all
Yes, yes. [ believe that any depanmf tin
which purchases haven't been made )r a
number of years is a dying departl em
There's been no curator of metalwork me
for untold years, nothing has been Jur
chased in this area, its fallow ground.
This raises an interesting question I lOut
curaLOrial departments . Do you stW ha' an
overaU belief in medium -s pedfic curaton, ae·
century glass . There are career
nationally for somebody
sponsibility for an an historical penod who
might specialize in one medium, but (-ver
see all other media of that period. Sll, In
due course I would li ke to see a stru( tuft
here where people look after penods from
Annquity to Romanesque, the Renais5,mct
through to the eighteenth-century, "lgh
teenth· and nineteenth-ce ntury and Iwen-
tieth -ce ntury.
Does thai mean, Jor exa mple, in your
Renaissance to elghleenlh- ce nrury period, rhat
iJ the (Ura(Or has a par-ticular murest in pllin/'
Links Archive Vol 29 No 3 Autumn 1992 Vol 30 No 1 Spring 1992 Navigation Previous Page Next Page