Today Edmund Capon, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, opened an exhibition, Gifted: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, made possible by the generous support of Mollie Gowing.
Since 1992 The Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art has cumulatively grown to represent one of the most significant private benefactions in support of Indigenous art in Australia.
Mollie Gowing's support has enabled the Art Gallery of New South Wales to buy 362 works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Gifted will display more than 100 of the works by artists including Ginger Riley Munduwalawala, Michael Jagamara Nelson, Emily Kam Ngwarray, Judy Watson and Gloria Tamerre Petyarre.
Edmund Capon, launching today’s exhibition, said almost one-third of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection acquired since 1992 owes its presence to Mollie Gowing.
Mollie Gowing has been a quiet donor who hasn’t wanted any spotlight on her generosity. She is passionate about Indigenous art and began her association with the gallery several decades ago. Gifts from Mollie Gowing’s personal collection include the woven handbags, a group of fibre works collected by her late husband Jim Gowing in the 1930s.
The beginning of the 1990s was a watershed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and their status in Australia. In 1994 the Art Gallery of New South Wales opened the Yiribana Gallery to showcase the gallery’s major Indigenous collection.
Sponsors of the Yiribana Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Gallery since 1995