The Art Gallery of South Australia will today prepare the way to install state-of-the-art, energy efficient lighting in its heritage Elder Wing of Australian art, in the second phase of the Greening of the Gallery program.
The State Government funded initiative, which began with a complete overhaul of the Gallerys antiquated air-conditioning systems in 2009, will produce near-perfect environmental and display conditions for the states art collection, while also reducing energy consumption by around 40% a year; the equivalent of 80 households.
Art Gallery Director, Nick Mitzevich said, South Australias public buildings must all play their part in reducing their impact on our environment, but as an art museum, we also need to ensure the climate inside the Gallery is well-managed to preserve works of art. With 38,000 objects in a collection valued in excess of $600 million, its the states most valuable asset, and it deserves to be maintained and enjoyed in optimum conditions.
The re-lighting program is coordinated by international firm, George Sexton Associates, whose past lighting projects include New Yorks Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal Academy of Arts in London. It will improve illumination of individual paintings and objects and reveal the Gallerys outstanding Australian collection in a new light and to best advantage.
The Gallery will take the opportunity during the Elder Wing closure, to clean and conserve a number of its Australian paintings and to plan fresh collection displays.
Highlights from the colonial and modern Australian art collections, including some of the Gallerys most popular works of art by John Glover, Tom Roberts, Arthur
Streeton, Jeffrey Smart and others, will be redisplayed for the public in gallery 6, from 11 September.
The Gallery will remain open during the works program and visitors will still be able to enjoy the Aboriginal, European, Asian and contemporary collections, as well as the Gallerys special exhibitions, Bookshop and Restaurant, daily from 10am to 5pm.
Visitors can check the Art Gallery website www.artgallery.sa.gov.au
for up to date information about the Greening of the Gallery program ahead of their visit. The project is due for completion in early 2011.