Case Study : Rio Tinto and Fred Williams: infinite horizon

Rio Tinto has a long connection with the artist Fred Williams, which made them the ideal Principal Partner for the National Gallery’s retrospective Fred Williams: infinite horizons.

In 1979, Fred Williams travelled to the Pilbara region at the invitation of then Chairman of CRA (now Rio Tinto Ltd), Sir Roderick Carnegie. Williams’ returned to the region on two subsequent occasions, painting many striking and lyrical gouaches, both in situ and back in his studio. This visit later inspired the artist to produce one of the most significant series of landscape oil paintings in the history of Australian art: the Pilbara series.

As Principal Partner for the Fred Williams retrospective Rio Tinto not only received promotion in the National Gallery’s extensive exhibition marketing campaign, but also when it travelled to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Their support of the exhibition and the story of their important association with Fred Williams the artist were also covered in a number of articles in major Australian newspapers.

As Principal Partner Rio Tinto received speaking opportunities at exhibition openings and their executives and their nominated VIPs were invited to the official media launches, exhibition openings and the dinner hosted by the National Gallery Director and Chairman. Rio Tinto executives were also invited to the private viewing of Fred Williams for Australian Senators and Members of the House of Representatives at the National Gallery of Australia.

As a valued partner of the National Gallery of Australia Rio Tinto representatives continue to be invited to Gallery exhibition openings and important Gallery events, where they have the opportunity to meet and connect with other business, government and arts representatives.