Buxton Contemporary Opening March 2018

The new purpose-built home for one of Australia’s most significant contemporary art collections will be officially launched in March 2018.

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 signi!cant 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.

Buxton Contemporary’s opening celebrations have been designed to coincide with the beginning of the 2018 university academic year. Further details to come.

The Michael Buxton Centre of Contemporary Art, MBCOCA

$26M art donation for new contemporary Australian art museum at the University of Melbourne, Southbank

In one of the most significant acts of arts philanthropy to an Australian university, property developer and passionate art collector, Michael Buxton, has donated his private contemporary Australian art collection to the University of Melbourne.

The Michael Buxton Collection features more than 300 works by 53 of the country’s most significant Australian artists, including Howard Arkley, Ricky Swallow, Tracey Moffat, Emily Floyd and Bill Henson.

The Collection will be housed and showcased in a new purpose-built museum – the Michael Buxton Centre of Contemporary Art (MBCOCA), on the University’s Southbank Campus. Home of the Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts & Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (VCA&MCM), on the corner of Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street and is expected to open in 2017.

The donation will comprise of the Collection as well as funds towards the construction and endowment of the museum and its operation over a 20-year term. The gift is also the biggest donation for Believe – the Campaign of the University of Melbourne.

Michael Buxton said he and his family had always dreamt the collection would serve as an educational resource to help foster an appreciation for 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 said.

The donation of the Collection and the formation of the museum in the centre of the Southbank Precinct will be used to enhance the University’s curriculum across disciplines, fostering an innovative approach to student learning.

The museum will operate in conjunction with the University’s Ian Potter Museum of Art whose Director, Kelly Gellatly said, “The Collection, which has been established with curatorial rigour, will enable the establishment of an extraordinary museum. It will showcase exhibitions that embrace experimentation and explore some of the major concerns of the 21st Century.”

“Through the activities of the Potter’s Academic Programs unit – unique within Australia – the museum will facilitate object-based learning for undergraduate and graduate students from the University’s diverse faculties and different campuses,” she said.

Professor Glyn Davis, Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne said, “Thanks to a wonderful partnership with Michael Buxton, this University will give the people of Melbourne unprecedented access to Australia’s finest contemporary art.’

“We believe the impact of this gift will be profound, enhancing the Southbank Precinct’s position as the heart of Melbourne’s cultural life,” he said.