Every year Australia’s galleries and museums display major exhibitions of some of the most significant cultural material from around the world.

19 September 2019

Many of these exhibitions are made possible through the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance (AGIEI) program and the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (PCOL) scheme, enabling Australian audiences’ access to high quality international exhibitions and helping deliver economic and tourism benefits to venues around Australia.

Approximately $2.4 million is made available each year through the AGIEI program to help offset the cost of insuring international art and cultural exhibitions to come to Australia. 

The PCOL scheme provides legal protections against the seizure of objects on loan from overseas lenders while they are in Australia for temporary public display. The scheme re-assures lenders, Australian borrowing institutions approved through the scheme have the expertise, protocols and practices to meet international museum standards.

Twelve institutions around Australia are currently approved to offer the protections of the scheme to overseas lenders and are utilising the scheme to attract many international loans each year.

In 2018-19, nine exhibitions were supported by the AGIEI program and enjoyed by more than 1 million visitors. Major exhibitions coming to Australia from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Xianyang Museum, China, British Library, Musée Marmottan Monet and the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. 

Some recent exhibitions that were supported by the AGIEI program and PCOL scheme include:

Love and Desire at the National Gallery of Australia

Featuring 40 pre Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate at the National Gallery of Australia from 14 December to 28 April 2018, the exhibition attracted more than 103,431 visitors including 55,000 interstate visitors with an estimated boost to the local economy of $23.1 million.

In addition to the Tate’s best-loved works, 40 pieces from other British and Australian collections were provided on loan, many of which have never been seen in Australia before.

Credit: John Everett Millais Ophelia 1851-52 Oil on canvas Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894, Tate N01506 © Tate, London 2018

MoMA at the National Gallery of Victoria

130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art from the Museum of Modern Art, New York was showcased at the National Gallery of Victoria from 9 June to 8 October 2018, attracting over 404,000 visitors including 60,526 interstate visitors and 22,924 international visitors. The exhibition provided an estimated boost to the local economy of $25.8 to $30.6 million, making it one of the most successful exhibitions the NGV has ever held. 

More than 200 works were on display from artists including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo and Jackson Pollock, tracing the development of art from late nineteenth century through to the digital age.

Credit: Exhibition image of MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, 2018 on display at NGV International from 9 June – 7 October
Photo: Tom Ross.

‘Masters of modern art from the Hermitage’ at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Drawn from the collections of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, the exhibition captured the exuberance, idealism and confidence of artists as they freed themselves from tradition.

From the bold experiments of Cézanne, to the radical innovation of artists like Matisse and Picasso, this exhibition documents the seismic shifts that took place in European painting in the years after 1900 and encapsulates a defining moment in art history.

The exhibition gained the highest attendance at the Art Gallery of New South Wales since 2011, attracting 165,180 visitors including in excess of 13,000 interstate and international visitors.

Credit: Installation view of Malevich, Black Square, 1932, State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.
Image courtesy of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage, exhibition. (Photograph by Felicity Jenkins)

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