Celebrating fifty years of art collecting in Bendigo

Celebrating fifty years of art collecting in Bendigo

04 Jul 2008

One of the University's main art collections – the FM Courtis Collection on the Bendigo campus – is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a special exhibition in partnership with the Bendigo Art Gallery.

Donna Bailey, The Ideal 2004, C-type photograph

Entitled Landmarks and Milestones, it runs until 10 August.

The exhibition draws on the first two paintings acquired by Fred Courtis, Head of Art Education at the then Bendigo Teachers' College in the 1950s. The paintings are an Arthur Boyd oil, Grampians Landscape, and a Len Annois watercolour, Templestowe Landscape.

It will be opened today by Jeffrey Makin whose work, Ramparts Katherine Gorge, features in the exhibition.

The teaching collection, in the Faculty of Education, was developed to foster an understanding of national identity through the appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts.

Other major artists in the 380-piece collection include Sir Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Sir William Dargie and Leonard French.

Dr Penelope Collet, senior lecturer in Art Education at Bendigo, who curated the exhibition, has researched the collection and documented its history.

Such collections play an important role in visual arts education in the country, she says. They assist teaching in a number of disciplines, attract investment from benefactors, and contribute to an institution's sense of identity.

'They enable rural students to have close and regular contact with quality art works, which creates an enriched environment for their careers and personal development.'

The University's other main art collections are:

  • The La Trobe University Art Collection of more than 2,000 works of 20th Century Australian art on the main Melbourne campus at Bundoora. These are shown in changing exhibitions at the University Art Museum and tour regional galleries. The collection includes works by Rick Amor, Tim Storrier, Howard Arkley, Charles Blackman, Fred Williams, Arthur Boyd, Leonard French and Inge King.
  • The Dunmoochin Foundation Art Collection from the estate of the late Clifton Pugh, of which La Trobe is custodian, features some three hundred works by artists including Pugh, John Olsen, John Brack and Frank Hodgkinson.
  • Other La Trobe collections include an ethnographic collection and the Trendall Collection of Antiquities at the Bundoora campus, and two ceramics collections, at Bendigo and Bundoora.


Dr Collet
T: (03) 5444 7323




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