The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) houses a significant collection of more than 15 000 Australian and international paintings, sculptures, decorative art objects, multimedia installations, and works on paper. Art museums are defined by the quality and significance of their collections. Consequently, the expansion and preservation of the art collection is part of QAGOMA's mission. This has been the case since the first work was purchased in 1895. Many of the works acquired by the Gallery in those early decades, such as Blandford Fletcher's Evicted 1887 and Under the Jacaranda 1903 by R. Godfrey Rivers, remain among the most popular and treasured paintings in the Collection. Historically, the Gallery's collecting has taken place across such traditional areas, however, the focus has shifted towards the representation of modern and contemporary cultures. As a result, the Gallery is now distinguished for its growing collections of contemporary Australian art, and International art, including a focus on the art of the Asian and Pacific region.
The Gallery's collections are central to its varied activities in the community. The diverse exhibitions, publications and collecting practices that form the core business of the Gallery help define us as individuals, communities and cultures. By refining its collecting policy, reaffirming its commitment to contemporary art and dramatically reshaping modes of collection display and interpretation, the Gallery is increasing access to, and understanding of, its principal resource ― its Collection.
An art museum’s collection is always growing and changing. Formed over time, shaped by its history and projecting into the future, a museum collection is both a record of the institution’s past and an expression of its aspirations.
At QAGOMA, we are continually adding works to the Collection that build on existing themes, groupings and strengths and, from time to time, suggest new directions for development. Each work that enters the Collection is considered in light of the Gallery’s existing holdings, and for how it might contribute to existing conversations between works or initiate new ones. For the most part, the Gallery’s regularly reviewed collecting policies direct the way the Collection is formed but occasionally an unexpected development — perhaps a gift or a suggestion about new artists or movements — will inspire substantial new research. An intellectual adventure as well as a cultural record, making the Collection is at the heart of the Gallery’s mission.
You can view the Gallery’s Collection online, the contemporary Asian and Pacific collections have been made available with the support of the Gordon Darling Foundation.