With over 1,000 diverse and interesting artworks, the ACU collection is a valuable asset to the University and wider community, showcasing a commitment to the arts and to scholarship focused on issues that are central to ACU’s Mission.
Developing since the University was established in the early 1990s, the collection reflects ACU’s growing maturity as an institution of higher learning in Australia and the wider Catholic world. Under the guidance of successive Vice-Chancellors, the collection has acquired a rich artistic flavour, with high-quality works dating from the 13th century to the present day. Informed by the strong Catholic values of the University, the collection embraces spirituality in art (as evidenced by significant acquisition of historical religious icons), pursues the spiritual and contemplative in traditional forms, and welcomes modern art that captures the essence of daily university life and the contemporary sensibility.
Today, the collection is professionally managed by a full-time curator and staff, with a major focus on researching, assessing, cataloguing, displaying and conserving artworks across all ACU campuses. Representing a wide range of styles from an eclectic range of disciplines, the collection showcases Australian paintings, works on paper, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, mosaics, gold and silver smithing, glass and decorative arts, early master paintings and replicas.
The ACU Art Collection is organised into four key areas:
ACU Modern and Contemporary Art Collection
Featuring modern and contemporary work by international and Australian artists, including Lady Beatrice Glenavy RHA, Mary Swanzy HRHA, Joyce Meier, Julian Meagher, Louise Tuckwell and Julian Hooper; and artists from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, including Angelina Pwerle and Sally Gabori.
ACU Chapel Collection
Sacred art used in the service of worship or devotion, including sanctuary lamps, tabernacles, and stations of the cross.
ACU Ceremonial Collection
Presenting items including the Biccherna book, processional mace and ACU ceremonial robes.
ACU Historical Collection
Containing botanical specimens, 15th century chasubles, embroidered vestments and furniture, and art historical works by Conrad Martens.