Buxton: the art of giving

Known for their prominent role in developing the public art-rich Melbourne Docklands, Michael and Andrew Buxton long thought about how to take that business history and love of art into the world of philanthropy.

Click image to zoom Tap image to zoom

Pic: Buxton Contemporary Source: VCA website

Michael’s lifelong passion for art and his desire to share it has resulted in Buxton Contemporary - Melbourne’s newest gallery which opened in March between the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).

"We do it for the love of collecting art.” - Buxton

Buxton has donated his vast collection of contemporary Australian art - valued at around $A10 million - to the University of Melbourne.

The art - more than 300 works by more than 50 artists - will be housed in the new museum to which he contributed another $A16 million as part of an endowment fund.

In a recent chat with bluenotes, Buxton discussed art, giving and the business of philanthropy.

He explains the purpose of the gallery is to educate the public and foster an appreciation for contemporary Australian art.

 “My brother and I have practiced donating through foundations [and] giving a lot of money to scientific research, medicine and underprivileged people," Buxton said. "[This] is really no different to what we've done in the past except it's a lot bigger.

“We structured it on the basis that we donate the art over a period of five years, a large sum of money to establish the running of it and then extra money over 20 years to help finance the [ongoing costs].”

Buxton says their involvement in the business-side of the gallery is that the collection is to be run as a not-for-profit. “We do it for the love of collecting art,” he says.

Watch the video above to learn more.

Peter Wilmoth is a freelance journalist.

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

editor's picks

10 Mar 2017

VIDEO: art, business and credit cards

Ha Bui | BlueNotes contributing editor

There is a long history of artists working with business. From the Medicis in the renaissance to institutions like the Catholic Church and now modern corporations, many great and revered works of art have come from these relationships.

16 Feb 2018

INFOGRAPHIC: around the world (for good)

Harry Cunningham | bluenotes contributor

We take a look at the anatomy of a fundraiser which raised $NZ56,000 over 26,000 kilometres.