Located within Melbourne’s Southbank arts precinct and embedded at the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Buxton Contemporary will provide a home and broad cultural context for the extraordinary art collection of Melbourne property developer and passionate art collector Michael Buxton.
Designed by leading Australian architects Fender Katsalidis, the museum will feature a teaching space and additional five galleries designed to showcase what is largely recognized as one of this country’s most significant collections of contemporary Australian art.
The Michael Buxton Collection was first established in 1995 with a focus on creating a museum-quality art collection based around six major Australian artists. Under the guidance of a board that has included members of the Buxton family and leading contemporary art curators and advisors, it now encompasses three generations of artists and more than 300 works by 58 artists at the forefront of contemporary art practice. Artists featured include Howard Arkley, Mike Parr, Tracey Moffatt, Bill Henson, Patricia Piccinini, Pat Brassington, Marco Fusinato and Daniel von Sturmer.
In 2014, in a landmark philanthropic gesture valued in excess of $26 million gifted through Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne, Michael Buxton donated the collection as well as the funds to build a new museum, an endowment and further operational support for a twenty-year period.
The result is Buxton Contemporary, and the launch of this purpose-built new museum realises a long-term ambition for the Buxton family to allow academic engagement with, and public access to, this highly valued representation of Australia’s visual culture.
The inaugural exhibition, The shape of things to come has been curated by Melissa Keys. It will feature works by more than 20 artists from the Buxton collection, and explores the various roles and agencies of the artist through culture, society and politics – as visionaries, storytellers, dissenters and alchemists.
Included will be major works by Ricky Swallow, Emily Floyd, Hany Armanious and Mikala Dwyer among many others. Future programming will use the Michael Buxton Collection as a springboard to captivate and educate audiences on trends in contemporary art and connect current Australian contemporary practice to international developments.
For more information about the Michael Buxton Collection, visit: www.michaelbuxtoncollection.com.au for details. Buxton Contemporary opens 9 March 2018.
Image: Interior of Buxton Contemporary – photo by James Greer