Some elements of the collection have come together fairly randomly; others have not. Take contemporary art. In 2005, dismayed at the gloomy presentation of Melbourne Town Hall, a new deputy lord mayor asked to see the collection picture racks. ‘This is sh*t’, was the judgement. To change this, an acquisitions panel that includes four external art experts was formed. Four collecting criteria were established: representations of Melbourne; the city as a universal theme; the city and environmental themes; and works by urban Indigenous artists. Other routes to forming the collection are City Gallery commissions and the artist-in-residence program.
Time and a limited-but-steady budget have paid off. Scroll away.