Residents will be able to view some of Australia’s most iconic artworks for free, after MAMA secured sponsorship to cover entry costs to a Sidney Nolan exhibition.
From November 23 to February 17, Nolan’s famous paintings of Ned Kelly, some depicting scenes based on the Border, will be on display at Murray Art Museum Albury.
MAMA curator Michael Moran said while the museum often received philanthropic sponsorship or donations to help them acquire exhibitions, it was the first time they had sought contributions to cover the cost of public entry to a show.
He said the museum wanted to ensure as many people as possible could see the famous works.
“Exhibitions can be costly for the museum to stage but it was important for us to share this work as widely as possible,” he said.
“It’s iconic work… I don’t think you’d find many people who wouldn’t recognise Nolan’s depiction of Kelly.”
Mr Moran said the exhibition could draw as many as 20,000 visitors to the museum.
He said as well as monetary sponsorship, the museum had received in-kind donations of hospitality and accommodation.
Vision Australia had also partnered with the museum to provide people with low-vision and blindness greater access to the exhibition.
Mr Moran said the museum wanted to tackle the false stereotype that museums were impenetrable or elitist institutions, and in doing so make art more accessible to all.
“We’re not under any illusion, some people are intimidated by art galleries and that’s understandable,” he said.
“We want as few boundaries to accessing art as possible.
“It’s very important, particularly with something so well loved and so important to history and Australian culture.”
Mr Moran said the 26 paintings were usually housed in Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia and Albury was their only NSW stop during the 2018-2020 tour.
He said being able to attract such important work was a credit to MAMA.
“It’s significant as an institution to have such seminal works and such important Australian works,” he said.
“The other thing that is very important is that it is an Australian body of work.
“Quite often a museum like ours and larger institutions have the idea that for work to be significant it must come from overseas but to show work as influential and as important as this that’s Australian and so well loved in our country, has a really important place in out national conversation.”
The exhibition will open on November 23 with a talk from the curator of Australian Art at NGA Deborah Hart.
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