Elaine and Jim
Wolfensohn gift

Travelling exhibitions | Introduction | Blue case | Red case | Yellow case | Melbourne cup

In 1988 Jim Wolfensohn (the Australian-born former president of the World Bank) generously donated funds to enable the National Gallery of Australia to buy museum-quality works of art to travel Australia as part of a unique exhibition program.  In this program, a wide range of audiences, including those living with disability, are able to experience art first-hand in a compelling way.

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn Gift comprises three art-filled suitcases and the 1888 Melbourne Cup.  They have travelled to schools, libraries, community centres, regional galleries and nursing homes since their development in 1990.  In this way, the Gift is enjoyed by both children and adults in remote, regional and metropolitan centres across Australia.  This distinctive travelling exhibition has a strong educational function.  The valuable artworks have been carefully selected to be both interesting and resilient; so that they can be handled and enjoyed by young and old for many years to come.

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn Gift is a project that is at the heart of the Gallery’s Travelling Exhibitions program.  The Gallery is delighted to continue to provide such a distinctive art experience to the Australian community and is grateful for the generosity of Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn.

Red case: myths & rituals

Unknown artist Seated Ganesha 9th—10th century bronze, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

The Red case: myths & rituals, is filled with works that draw upon beliefs and symbols from different countries around the world — India, China, Africa and Australia. These works range from a ceremonial teapot to an Ankus (elephant goad) and are created out of a range of media, including bronze, wood and pearl shell.  The red and yellow suitcase kits tour together.

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Unknown artist Seated Ganesha 9th—10th century, bronze, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Yellow case: form, space & design

Emily O’Brian Hair Chair (1) anodised aluminium, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

The Yellow case: form, space & design, presents a mixture of concepts that show great humour and originality.  Neil Roberts’ small bronze sculpture The space inside my fist captures the invisible space between the fingers and palm when made into a fist; Ian Howard’s darkly comedic The arms of the people highlight’s the artist’s concerns about war; other items include Mary Oliver’s music sticks and David Wallace’s bush toys of stockmen on horses from Santa Teresa near Alice Springs.  The red and yellow suitcase kits tour together.

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John Edgar Red Eye 1993, greywacke stone, glass National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Blue case: Technology

Emily O’Brian Hair Chair (1) anodised aluminium, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

The Blue case: Technology, showcases the works of six contemporary Australian artists and designers.  The works focus on function, innovative design and construction and include Lionel Bawden’s lateral pencil constructions to create a multifaceted brain; Matthew Harding’s exquisitely carved, heart-shaped pill box; and Cinnamon Lee’s playful palm light.  By employing a wealth of skills and ideas, the artists have created works of art that compel people to explore the objects, and share the experience with one another.

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Emily O’Brien Hair Chairs (1) 2004, anodised aluminium, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

The 1888 Melbourne Cup

Elkington & Co. 'The 1888 Melbourne Cup' 1887 maker's mark of Frederick Elkington Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

The 1888 Melbourne Cup trophy or ‘Centennial Cup’ features three magnificent horses and was made to celebrate 100 years of British settlement in Australia.  The Cup was created by Elkington & Co, a silver working firm based in London.  The base of the 1888 cup is electroplate, while the horses on the top have been cast in solid silver.

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Elkington & Co. The 1888 Melbourne Cup 1887, maker's mark of Frederick Elkington Collection of the National Gallery of Australia

 

For bookings and further information contact

National Gallery of Australia Travelling Exhibitions
GPO Box 1150
Canberra ACT 2601
email travex@nga.gov.au or
phone +61 2 6240 6650
fax +61 2 6240 6560