Art of giving: Library collections


Special collections in your art library are important to the development and maintenance of our cultural heritage. The QAGOMA Research Library’s special collections are a treasure-trove of unique and rare items that can inspire and enrich, support scholarship and engage artists, visitors, researchers and students. Collecting these items is often only possible through a creative partnership with a generous donor.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the QAGOMA Foundation, we gratefully acknowledge the benefactors who have donated to the Research Library through the Foundation: James C. Sourris AM / Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts / Patrick Corrigan AM / Estate of Marion Smith / Dr Caroline Turner AM / Dr Caroline Turner AM in memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki / Martin Wardrop / Timothy Roberts

Many of our important resources, acquired through the generosity of these Foundation members, have featured in major exhibitions at the Gallery, such as ‘Charles Blackman: Lure of the Sun’, ‘We can make another future: Japanese Art after 1989’, ‘Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams’ and ‘Matisse: Drawing Life’.

The James C. Sourris AM Collection in ‘Matisse: Drawing Life’ 2011

The Patrick Corrigan AM Collection of Australian Exhibition Catalogues is a unique group of items that Mr Corrigan accumulated over the last three decades and generously donated to the Library. The catalogues span nearly 120 years, beginning with the famous 1898 exhibition of Australian art held at Grafton Galleries in London. His gift, together with the donation of rare Australian art books from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts, including several limited editions, and a gift of 200 books and exhibition catalogues on Indigenous art and artists from the late Martin Wardrop, have significantly enhanced the Library’s holdings on Australian art.

The rare book collection gifted by the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts

Charles Blackman’s Buderim Mt Sketchbook: Civilization versus Eden, dated 1984 — gifted to the QAGOMA Research Library through the Foundation by the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts — and the correspondence between Ian Fairweather and Marion Smith, dated 1955-73 — donated by the Estate of Marion Smith — are resources that afford us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives and practices of these Australian artists. A selection of the Fairweather letters were included in a new book, Ian Fairweather: A Life in Letters (Text Publishing, 2019), edited by Claire Roberts and John Thompson, and supported by the Australian Research Council, QAGOMA, and QAGOMA Foundation Committee member and former Gallery trustee Philip Bacon AM.

Charles Blackman ‘Buderim Mt Sketchbook: Civilisation versus Eden’ 1984

Charles Blackman, Australia b.1928 / Buderim Mt Sketchbook: Civilisation versus Eden (detail) 1984 / Full (faux) black leather sketchbook with gilt borders and red endpapers / 1 v.; ill. (some col.) / Gift of the Josephine Ulrich and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2013. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program / Collection: QAGOMA Research Library / © Charles Raymond Blackman 1984/Copyright Agency

Letter from Ian Fairweather to Marion Smith, Bribie Island 1959

Letter from Ian Fairweather to Marion Smith, Bribie Island, June 8 [1959] / Transcript: Bribie June 8 [1959] / Gift of the Estate of Marion Smith through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2013 / Collection: QAGOMA Research Library / ©Ian Fairweather 1959/DACS/Copyright Agency

Pages from the album of Ethel Fairweather

Pages from the album of Ethel Fairweather showing a photograph of her brother Ian, pressed flowers and photographs of the island of Sark, where the Fairweather family holidayed c.1908 / India and Channel Islands: Fairweather Photograph Album 1898–1908 / Collection: QAGOMA Research Library / © QAGOMA

The James C. Sourris AM Collection of Rare Books featured in the ‘Matisse: Drawing Life’ and ‘Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams’ exhibitions. One of the most impressive and iconic of all the surrealist periodicals, Minotaure, is a particular highlight of this collection. Minotaure emphasised the interaction between the visual arts, literature and science, and boasts an impressive list of contributors, including Hans Arp, Balthus, Georges Bataille, Hans Bellmer, Brassaï, André Breton, Marc Chagall, Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp,  Paul Éluard, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung, Wassily Kandinsky, Jacques Lacan, Man Ray, René Magritte, Andre Masson, Henri Matisse, Roberto Matta, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Raymond Queneau and Diego Rivera.

Surrealist related material from the James C. Sourris AM Collection

The Library has an extensive collection of Asian and Pacific art resources. Dr Caroline Turner AM, former deputy director of the Queensland Art Gallery, has generously helped us to acquire a complete collection of Kiroku — a photo-journal created by renowned Japanese photographer Daido Mariyama — and key resources on Pacific art in memory of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki. Timothy Roberts’s gift of a Thos Pringle photograph album of Māori women and a limited-edition book on Louis Vuitton designed by Takashi Murakami have also added to the diversity of material held in this collection.

Images of Kiroku by Daido Moriyama, gifted by Dr Caroline Turner AM, and installed in ‘We Can Make another Future: Japanese Art After 1989’.

QAGOMA Research Library

The QAGOMA Research Library is located on Level 3 of the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). Open to the public Tuesday to Friday 10.00am to 5.00pm. visit us in person or explore the online catalogue. Access to special collections is available by appointment. 

Jacklyn Young, Librarian (Collections), QAGOMA