From the

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Feature - Tim Douglas

To­day, arts editor Ash­leigh Wil­son tracks down glo­be­trot­ting Nick Mitze­vich, the im­pre­sario Na­tional Gallery of Aus­tralia di­rec­tor, who just three months into the job is al­ready mak­ing big changes to the in­sti­tu­tion on the banks of Lake Bur­ley Grif­fin. There are big ac­qui­si­tions, new gallery spa­ces and a cou­ple of in­cred­i­ble lends on the cards (see pages 16 and 17), but one of the most in­ter­est­ing rev­e­la­tions in Wil­son’s fine, ex­clu­sive cover story to­day is the plan for a new chil­dren’s mu­seum. Surely it is one of the most shrewd de­ci­sions made at the NGA in many years, and with a handy do­na­tion from Tim Fair­fax the wheels are al­ready in mo­tion. Mitze­vich un­der­stands the NGA needs a fresh pub­lic pro­file, and he is ev­i­dently keen to tar­get younger au­di­ences. (That such an in­sti­tu­tion might vie for some of the lion cubs’ share of neigh­bour­ing Ques­ta­con — as close as Can­berra has as des­ti­na­tion tourism for chil­dren — will not be lost on many par­ents of young ones.) The NGA has had its share of con­tro­versy in the past few years — re­call the small mat­ter in 2014 of hav­ing to re­turn to In­dia a $5.6 mil­lion arte­fact whose prove­nance had been forged — and the time was nigh for a dra­matic rein­ven­tion of an in­sti­tu­tion too many Aus­tralians take for granted. In­deed, the NGA’s cur­rent Amer­i­can Masters show is a tes­ta­ment to the pre­science and col­lect­ing nous of the ghosts of gallery di­rec­tors and gov­ern­ments past. I caught up with Mitze­vich last week at the NGA, and, like a benev­o­lent ruler, he was greeted through­out the build­ing with wide eyes from gallery­go­ers and smiles from staff and work­ers. The gallery needed a new face, and it has one quite lit­er­ally in the 48-year-old, whose bur­geon­ing In­sta­gram ac­count re­veals a man with a plan to push the NGA into wider pub­lic view. Will vis­i­tors start flood­ing through the doors of Colin Madi­gan’s bru­tal­ist build­ing? Time will tell, but the signs are promis­ing. The ARIA awards are a month away, and mu­si­cians and mu­sic lovers alike will be watch­ing the weekly charts closely to­day as they shift to a new model. From to­day the ARIA chart will be col­lated along the same lines as its Amer­i­can coun­ter­part, Bill­board, wherein greater em­pha­sis is placed on down­loads of paid sub­scrip­tion ser­vices (Spo­tify, Ama­zon, Ap­ple Mu­sic), as op­posed to ad-sup­ported free streams (YouTube, Sound­cloud for sin­gles.) The ARIAs will be held in Syd­ney’s The Star on Novem­ber 28.

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