Warrnambool Art Gallery Foundation

News Release – Foundation Launch


A celebration to mark the establishment of The Warrnambool Art Gallery Foundation was held on Saturday September 19th.  The Mayor, Cr Michael Neoh, welcomed invited guests on behalf of the Warrnambool City Council who hosted the event.

The launch was performed by Rupert Myer AM, chairman of the National Gallery of Australia and board member of the Felton Bequests’ Committee. 

The role of the new philanthropic foundation is to raise funds and encourage donations to assist the Gallery in acquiring works of art. The Foundation also aims to broaden the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of art in the community and assists with the Gallery’s education program.

In his address Mr Myer acknowledged the significant tradition of benefaction which has developed over its 125 year history and spoke of the founders of the Warrnambool Art Gallery’s collection as being men who believed in taking a risk in the name of art and in the cultural destiny of Warrnambool.  “It is clear that we are now reaping the benefits of their courageous actions”, he stated.

From the beginning in the 1880s the tradition of “strategic and insightful leadership, benefaction and fruitful partnership has ensured the establishment and development of one of the nation’s finest regional galleries”. Mr Myer urged twenty first century citizens of Warrnambool to take up the opportunity to support an important local institution by playing a role in the presentation of classic and contemporary art and the development of our visual culture.

Mr Myer also said: “Honour benefaction well, be generous in doing so and give certainty to your benefactors. I believe that this Foundation being launched tonight, really gets that point and the acknowledgement of named funds in perpetuity give outstanding recognition to the donors to this Gallery”.

The launch of the Foundation, held at the Art Gallery was attended by 140 guests including donors to the Warrnambool Art Gallery Trust, a precursor to the new Foundation, members of the Friends of the Warrnambool Art Gallery and representatives from the wider arts community in the local area.  David Hansen, a former Director of the Gallery was master of ceremonies for the evening.  Mr Gil Docking travelled from Sydney to attend the launch. Mr Docking established the Lawson-Docking Acquisition fund in 1999, in honour of his late wife, the artist Shay Docking.  The Lawson-Docking fund is one of the named funds which have been recognized within the Warrnambool Art Gallery Foundation.


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