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News – Last stop for Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO

Posted on Sept. 20, 2012 in Artist and curator Interviews.
Installation at Newcastle Region Art Gallery

Installation view at Newcastle Art Gallery. The artwork on the floor is John Olsen’s The sea sun of 5 bells (1964), the large three-panel work is by John Peart and the very colourful work nearby is Robert Owen’s Untitled XII from the series Origami (1992).

Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO provides a roadmap of Australian art practice over the past fifty years, shaped by the vision of one of Australia’s best regarded collectors and arts’ supporters: Ann Lewis AO. The exhibition draws upon her gift to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in 2009. It comprises over fifty works from her private collection as well as a number of pieces previously given to the MCA. Lewis’ gifts to Newcastle Art Gallery and Moree Plains Art Gallery are also included. MCA Touring Exhibitions and Projects Manager Karen Hall tells us more about the touring process.

When was this exhibition first shown?

The exhibition was first presented at the MCA from 8 December 2009 to 18 April 2010.

How did it become a touring exhibition?

Ann Lewis grew up in regional New South Wales – born in Mungindi and raised in Moree – and shared the MCA’s passion for making artworks available to all Australians.

How many venues has the exhibition travelled to and how long has it been touring for?

Almanac started touring in January 2011 and has travelled to seven venues. It will finish touring in November 2012 at Newcastle Art Gallery, where it is currently on show.

How did you get the artworks from one venue to another?

The artworks had special crates made for transport and travelled by road in a 12 tonne truck. We worked with a reliable art transporter who was experienced in moving large exhibitions.

How did you protect the artworks?

Packing them correctly and making sure they were handled properly. Monitoring their condition at the arrival and departure from each venue.

Did all venues respect a similar presentation of the works or were they free to rearrange?

We value the input from the venues as they know the exhibition spaces best.

Are there any behind the scenes anecdotes you could share with us about the touring process?

The touring process requires a lot of liaison with the touring venue including organising the logistics of getting the exhibition to the venue and it being installed, marketing and publicity and coordinating public programs.

Did you get to meet Ann Lewis? If so, what was she like?

No, I was not introduced to Ann Lewis but from all accounts she was an amazing person.

Posted by Kelly Stone

To find out more about the current venue, visit the Newcastle Art Gallery website.

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