The Collection Audit is aimed at creating a database of QVMAG’s 1.5 million artworks and objects.
QVMAG has committed to undertake a thorough Audit of its entire collection including Visual Arts and Design, Natural Sciences and History. This will create an ongoing digitised record and ensure that our collections are as accessible as possible.
This is the first full audit of these collections since the museum's inception in 1891.
Until the start of this project only about 18% of objects were registered on our database.
We recognise the need for every single item in QVMAG's collection - from tiny native fleas to expansive landscape paintings to railway carriages - to be meticulously assessed and documented for present and future communities to treasure and learn from. Because a museum holds a record of the past and present for the future and we must preserve this as best we can.
The audit is uncovering marvellous objects of cultural, social and environmental significance that are stitching together inspiring and intriguing new narratives. We are gaining new knowledge every day and this is informing and shaping our own work and practice.
Where are we doing it
The Audit is being conducted across the Inveresk and Royal Park sites, covering our main collection areas of Visual Arts and Design, Natural Sciences and History.
How are we doing it
The QVMAG Collection Audit began in mid-2019 and will be ongoing as we work our way through the vast collection while also acquiring new objects.
Our initial efforts have been focused on the Visual Arts and Design collection, where we have completed a large section of the works on paper, including works by Bea Maddock, W. B. Gould, Margaret Stones, and Geoff Tyson.
We have also made significant progress with our Natural Sciences collection. We have audited the Historic Mounts, Type Specimens, and Thylacine collection.
We hope this Audit creates an outstanding model for collections research, care and maintenance for industry and future guardians of the QVMAG archives.
The Audit has presented an excellent opportunity to reconsider the presentation of spaces at our Royal Park site.
The former Colonial and Federation Galleries are now closed as we refurbish these spaces in order to better control the environment, keeping our treasured works safe into the future.
While our permanent displays are closed we are showing five exhibitions in other spaces in the gallery:
- Nest, Alastair Mooney
- Lost Landscapes, Anne Zahalka
- Herself, female artists from the QVMAG collection
- Skin, Gary Greenwood
- Wrapped in Culture
Following this in 2021 a new display of works from QVMAG's own collection will be unveiled. Watch this space!
Listen below as our Manager, Knowledge and Content, Dr Christine Hansen, unpacks the Collection Audit: