Deakin University Art Collection and Galleries

Art Collection

Deakin University Art Collection

Deakin University’s Art Collection, consisting of around 1600 diverse pieces, has been in existence since the University’s inception. The works include a fine collection of paintings, ceramics and sculpture and most of the collection is contemporary in nature. The older works in the collection have either been donated to the University or came to the University via its antecedent institutions.

This structured and well balanced collection represents works of art of excellence and significance by principally Australian contemporary artists, in a wide range of media. Maintaining this significant art collection demonstrates the University’s interest in the study, patronage and advancement of the visual arts in Australia.

Contemporary sculpture is a key feature of Deakin’s Art Collection. The Art Collection also contains works by current and past Deakin staff members and Alumni.

The vast majority of the Art Collection is on public display throughout Deakin’s four Campuses.

The Art Collection is administered by the Art Collection and Galleries Unit. With the aim of expanding and enriching the collection, potential acquisitions of contemporary importance are examined and appraised for their cultural merit, in accordance with an acquisition policy designed to preserve and enhance the character of this unique repository of works.

The unit will consider donations from artists and collectors to the Deakin University Art Collection and the University is registered under the Cultural Gifts Program which offers tax incentives, via deductions and capital gains tax exemptions, to private donors to public collections.

Defining the Art Collection

The Art Collection can be categorised in the following ways:

  • Premium Collection
  • Special Collections.

Premium Collection

The Premium Collection comprises the University’s most prestigious artworks, which have been acquired over a period of 40 years through a combination of careful purchasing, generous gifts and bequests. This collection focuses on the work of contemporary Australian and a small number of international artists who have a record of practice and development of their art form, and are well represented in public collections.

Special Collections

The Campus Collection consists of works across a wide range of media that includes painting, printmaking, drawing, ceramics and photography. This collection contains over 500 examples of mostly student and staff artworks that have been acquired over a period of 50 years through purchase, awards, gifts and contributions from other educational institutions, including the Douglas McDonell State College of Victoria Art Collection.

The Deakin University Art Collection has two areas of speciality:

  • The Artists’ Book Collection
  • The Sculpture Collection.

The Artists' Book Collection represents some of the most captivating and intriguing examples of Australian and international artists’ books and limited editions. This medium is rapidly achieving prominence and there are not many public collections that focus on this emerging medium. As a medium it offers the artist the opportunity to utilise innovative printmaking techniques and present their work in an often sculptured, three dimensional format. There is a link to the academic program at Deakin and the existing collection has been utilised regularly by academics in the pursuit of their teaching and learning objectives.

The Sculpture Collection is a significant body of large and small sculpture and maquettes from a range of well known contemporary Australian artists that beautify and contribute to the aesthetics of Deakin University's four Campuses. The Art Collection and Galleries Unit has organised many exhibitions with contemporary sculptors in the last five years, including well known artists such as Neil Taylor, Loretta Quinn, Tim Jones, Brigit Heller, Les Kossatz and Adrian Mauriks. The recent addition of the Contemporary Small Sculpture Award to the annual exhibition program complements the large sculpture collection.

Art Collection vision

The vision for Deakin’s Art Collection is that it be known to be predominantly contemporary in nature, of high quality and comprise four categories (discussed in detail earlier) as outlined below:

  • The Premium Collection focusing on the work of contemporary Australian artists who have a record of practice and development of their art form, and are well represented in public collections.
  • The Campus Collection works across a wide range of media that includes painting, printmaking, drawing and ceramics of mostly student, Alumni and staff artworks.
  • The Artists' Book Collection representing examples of Australian and international artists’ books and limited editions.
  • The Sculpture Collection is a significant body of large and small sculpture and maquettes from a range of well known contemporary Australian artists.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

11th March 2011