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MAMA announces major gift from the Russell Mills Foundation

A yellow room with a silent film of two kids playing props and blown up polaroids of a person and their house.
Murray Art Museum Albury

Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) is pleased to announce the Russell Mills Foundation Photography Acquisition Series, a biennial $50,000 acquisition program that will add major works of Australian photography to the Museum’s collection. The first acquisition comprises works from Destiny Deacon’s iconic 2001 series Forced into Images and will be on view at the Museum from 10 September 2021.

Through the Russell Mills Foundation Photography Acquisition Series, significant works by Australia’s leading artists will be acquired and will build upon the generous gift of the Russell Mills Collection to the Museum in 2015. The acquisitions will focus on work by artists who speak to the urgent issues of our time and who work with the strong ethos of social justice that is central to the Russell Mills Foundation.

The Russell Mills Foundation’s generous support extends the Foundation’s relationship with the Museum that began in 2015 with the gift of the Russell Mills Collection. This significant donation dramatically enhanced the Museum’s holdings of 20th and 21st Century Australian photography with fifty works by artists including Olive Cotton, Petrina Hicks, David Moore, Max Dupain, and Michael Riley. In 2018, the Foundation supported the acquisition of the complete series of Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Michael Riley’s flyblown. In addition to the acquisition, support was provided for new scholarship on the series by the celebrated Bandjalung curator Djon Mundine.

 “The Russell Mills Foundation is enormously pleased to be able to continue our support for the important work that MAMA does in promoting Australian culture in regional communities through the medium of photography.”

The Russell Mills Foundation

The Museum’s commitment to photography began with the establishment of the National Photographic Purchase Award in 1983. This significant biennial award continues at the Museum as The National Photography Prize and has brought important works by Debra Phillips, Hayley Millar Baker, Michael Cook and Amanda Williams, among others, into the collection. The Museum’s early commitment to the photographic medium also included the commissioning of work by Tracey Moffatt in 1989. The resulting photographic series, Something More, became one of the most celebrated works of Australian art of the late twentieth century and is now a significant highlight of the Murray Art Museum Albury collection.

 “The vision and support of benefactors like the Russell Mills Foundation is so important for the Museum’s collection. This gift allows us to grow the collection in extraordinary ways and share our society’s most compelling stories through contemporary art.”

Bree Pickering, MAMA Director

The Russell Mills Foundation Acquisition Series allows for important historical works and contemporary photography to further develop the Murray Art Museum Albury photography collection. In doing so, it recognises the longstanding commitment of the Museum to Australian photography and champions the medium’s future.