$300m art col­lec­tion at risk from poor stor­age

The West Australian - - NEWS - Dy­lan Ca­porn

WA’s $300 mil­lion State art col­lec­tion is at risk of dam­age as a re­sult of poor stor­age con­di­tions, the Au­di­tor-Gen­eral has found.

When not on dis­play, the Art Gallery of WA col­lec­tion, which in­cludes ma­jor works by artists Fred­er­ick McCub­bin, Jack­son Pol­lock and Sid­ney Nolan, is stored in sev­eral spa­ces in the gallery, in­clud­ing con­verted exhibition ar­eas.

In 2012, the gallery found its more than 5000sqm of stor­age space was con­gested and would need to be dou­bled to meet de­mand through to 2032.

Paint­ings were stored on the floor, held up by wedges.

In a re­port tabled in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day, act­ing au­di­tor­gen­eral San­dra Labuschagne said AGWA strug­gled to bal­ance ex­pand­ing and pre­serv­ing the the col­lec­tion.

“A sig­nif­i­cant short­age of ap­pro­pri­ate stor­age space places art­works at risk of dam­age from not be­ing stored ap­pro­pri­ately, and lim­its ac­cess to the col­lec­tion for con­ser­va­tion work and pub­lic en­gage­ment,” she said.

“Es­tab­lish­ing a plan is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant given the lim­ited re­sources AGWA has avail­able to carry out this work.”

In re­sponse to the re­port, the gallery said it was work­ing with agen­cies and the Gov­ern­ment to find a “speedy off­site stor­age so­lu­tion”.

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