On the move


As Monash University emerged from the paddocks of outer suburban Melbourne in the 1960s, so did an art collection that captured a groundswell of belief in a new Australian cultural identity.

Director of the Monash University Museum of Art, Max Delaney, with a well-known artwork by Howard Arkley, 'Family Home -- Suburban Exterior".
Max Delaney

Nearly 50 years on, the Monash University Museum of Art has earned a reputation as a leading public art museum, and is custodian of an outstanding collection of around 1500 works of art.

In 2010 the museum will relocate to new premises at the Caulfield campus, in the heart of the Art and Design precinct, making Caulfield the home of the visual arts and reinforcing the role of the Clayton campus as the specialist centre for the performing arts.

The museum's new site, designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects, on the ground floor of Building F, includes an outdoor sculpture court. The building faces Dandenong Road, but the entrance to the museum is from an internal courtyard.

The good public transport access of the Caulfield campus will allow for greater visitor access and involvement.

Director Max Delany (pictured left) said the move would allow the collection's hidden treasures to be better displayed, while also providing students and the public greater access to an expanded program of exhibitions and events.

One of the museum's best-known works is Howard Arkley's 'Family home - suburban exterior' 1993, which captures both the ordinariness and the simple beauty of the suburban Australian home.

Starting with the Australian modernists John Perceval, Charles Blackman, John Brack and Sydney Nolan, the collection is notable for its commitment to a wide variety of media and artistic practices, and features leading contemporary artists including Mike Parr, Tracey Moffatt, Patricia Piccinini and Daniel von Sturmer.

Mr Delany said the collection is regarded as one of Australia's most adventurous collections of cutting-edge contemporary art, and is recognised for its currency, depth and diversity. Mr Delaney acknowledged the philanthropic support of the Ian Potter Foundation, the Myer Foundation and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, as well as individual donors and patrons, in the $5.25 million relocation.

For more information, vist the Monash University Museum of Art website.