Media Release 17 July 2008
Chairman’s spectacular Southeast Asian gift
transforms Adelaide’s collection
The Premier and Minister for the Arts, the Honourable Mike Rann MP, today announced a
spectacular new gift of 75 rare Southeast Asian textiles and objects to the Art Gallery of South
Australia, donated by Chairman, Michael Abbott QC.
“This gift has radically transformed the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Asian holdings, making it
Australia’s foremost state collection of Indonesian art, and one of leading international
significance” he said.
Mr Abbott has donated numerous works from his internationally renowned private collection of
Southeast Asian art to the Gallery over the last 30 years, and has been the Gallery’s Chairman
since August 2002. Remarkable for the number, quality and rarity of works, this recent donation
is independently valued at nearly $2 million and is his most significant gift to date.
“I am very pleased to be able to make a significant addition to our collection of Asian and
Southeast Asian Art. Our Collection in this area is already recognised internationally and our
next Asian exhibition will continue to make our Gallery’s pre-eminence in this area. I also hope
that my gift will encourage others to donate.” said Michael Abbott QC.
“Michael Abbott’s great love of Asian art is expressed through this unique and very generous gift”
said Premier Mike Rann. “The Art Gallery of South Australia is extraordinarily fortunate to have
secured such an important group of works and will now be recognised as one of the world’s top
collections for Southeast Asian art” he said.
The gift comprises 64 trade and ceremonial cloths and court garments from India, Indonesia,
The Netherlands and Japan dating from the 14th to the early 20th centuries. The textiles are of
exceptional breadth and quality and provide a comprehensive survey of the development of