News - 2013


For the latest news and information about the MoMA Series visit the blog.

25 November 2013

Open Letter from Stefano Carboni - MoMA/AGWA series concludes

In June 2012, the Art Gallery of Western Australia embarked on an exciting six-exhibition series in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA). Since the series launch, the exhibitions have been enjoyed by a large number of Western Australians and have positively reinforced the Gallery’s international standing and cultural reputation.

While support from the State Government, sponsors and the community has been significant, I am disappointed to announce that the MoMA Series will finish at the end of this current exhibition because it is no longer financially viable.

I would like to thank all those who have been incredibly supportive of this initiative, and encourage everyone to take advantage of this last opportunity to view splendid works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York before the current exhibition Van Gogh, Dalí and Beyond closes on Monday
2 December 2013.

Download the full letter here.

*Refunds for tickets purchased for the remaining exhibitions can be arranged through the Gallery's Box Office. The Box Office is open from 10am - 4.30pm Wednesday to Monday (Closed Tuesday). Please be aware that we expect the Box Office to be very busy for the closing week of Van Gogh, Dalí and Beyond and suggest waiting until Wednesday 4 December to arrange your refund.

August 2013


AGWA Associate Curator of Historical Works on Paper, Lucy Harper is leaving the sanctuary of AGWA to cycle from Perth to Sydney to raise critical awareness and funds for Parkinson’s NSW for research into Parkinson’s disease (PD). Leaving Perth on 7 August, Lucy aims to ride into Sydney on 21 September.

Visit Lucy’s website to follow her journey and for details on how you can donate.



An annual exhibition for Australian artists aged 35 years and younger is celebrating its 22nd edition in 2013. Curator of Modern and Contemporary Photography and Design at AGWA, Robert Cook, will be curating this year's showcase.

For more information on the eight selected artists and the exhibition opening at the MCA on 12 September please visit

12 April 2013


Desert River Sea

Desert River Sea: Kimberly Art Then & Now has grown from extensive community consultation and research undertaken by the Gallery with art centres, elders and community members across the region. This consultation phase was also enabled through support from Rio Tinto who, “took a leap of faith in supporting the Gallery’s vision,” according to Joanne Farrell, Board member of the Rio Tinto Community Investment Fund.

At the core of the Desert River Sea initiative is a commitment to bring together artists and art centres from across the Kimberley, providing more opportunities to connect with each other and with the Gallery, and to celebrate the diversity of Indigenous culture in the Kimberley. Desert River Sea will also develop an Emerging Leaders program designed to support emerging artists and foster continued opportunities for artists in the region.

Through the Gallery’s Kimberley Indigenous Community Liaison and Project Officer, Chad Creighton, the Art Gallery of WA will work side by side with selected art communities who already have an established arts practice. The focus is on digitally documenting their work through film and photography, capturing the region’s current and emerging art practices, and helping develop communication networks.

An online portal will be established to create a central hub for the initiative. It’s anticipated this site will become a working resource for Kimberley community arts centres; a welcomed place for discussion and practice, as well as providing an evolving source of information about Kimberley Indigenous arts.

Read the Gallery's Media Release

Rio Tinto - Desert River Sea

Artwork credit:
Paddy Jaminji

Kimberley landscape c 1984
ochre on canvas, 195.8 x 270.3 cm (sight)
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased 1988.© Paddy Tjamitji c1984

Photo credit: Courtney McAllister

desert river sea

22 February 2013

Tribute to former curator, Michael O'Ferrall

The Art Gallery of Western Australia is saddened by the passing of former curator, Michael O'Ferrall.

Michael’s contribution to Indigenous Collection within the Western Australian State Art Collection cannot be over stated. In 1984 he was appointed as the Gallery’s first Curator of Indigenous Art. Michael catalogued early Indigenous acquisitions dating back to 1946 and mounted the first displays dedicated to Indigenous art at the Gallery. In 1988 Michael was instrumental in the acquisition of the Louis Allen Collection, a nationally significant collection of over 1200 historic works from Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands, and the collection was bought home from the United States to Australia. In 1990 Michael went on to curate the exhibition ‘Keeper of the Secrets’ and authored the accompanying publication which surveyed and celebrated the art and culture of Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands, using important works from the Louis Allen Collection. That very same year he also curated Australia’s first Indigenous presence in the Venice Biennale which featured the work of Rover Thomas and Trevor Nichols.

Michael was central to the development of the State Art Collection’s holdings of Indigenous Australian art and acquired a large number of nationally significant works by artists such as Rover Thomas, Paddy Jaminji, Mathaman Marika, Munggurrawuy Yunupingu, Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, Ginger Riley Munduwalawala, Emily Kngwarraye and Alec Mingelmanganu. Michael was also instrumental in initiating the Gallery’s first Indigenous curatorial internship and this has had a great impact on the way the Gallery operates today.

Michael was a committed and passionate man with an infectious enthusiasm. His immense knowledge of Indigenous art, finely articulated scholarship and vision will be remembered through the legacy he has left within the Collection, community and the nation.

The Director, Executive and staff of the Art Gallery of Western Australia extend their condolences to Michael’s widow, Ilse, and daughters, Elvira and Kristine.

Obituary: The West Australian Friday 8 March 2013 



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