Robert and Eugenie Bell Decorative Arts and Design Fund

At the October 2018 National Gallery of Australia Memorial Celebration for Dr Robert Bell AM, NGA Director Nick Mitzevich announced the creation of the Robert and Eugenie Bell Decorative Arts and Design Fund. The Fund will support the acquisition of 20th and 21st century decorative arts, design and crafts for the National Gallery’s permanent collection.

Robert, who died in July 2018, was well known to the Australian and international craft communities as Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the National Gallery of Australia from 2000 until his retirement in late 2016, following 22 years as Curator of Decorative Arts at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. He and wife Eugenie provided an initial financial contribution to establish the Fund.

The Fund’s first target acquisition is Liminal, a major glass work by Canberra artist Mel Douglas, exhibited in the 2018 Hindmarsh Glass Prize. A serenely poetic work, Liminal has two elements which can be arranged in various configurations.

To make a tax deductible contribution in Robert Bell’s memory towards the purchase of Liminal, please visit

Australian Heirlooms for the Future

Helge Larsen and Darani Lewers, Brooch ‘The Australian Dream’ Sterling silver, Gold, Acrylic 1974, 52mm National Gallery of Australia collection

When visiting museums and galleries today, we enjoy seeing the best of the works produced in the past. We learn about the styles of those times and what was considered valuable.

Despite the increasingly short-term focus of our digital lifestyle, it is critical that we invest in acquiring representative works from our time so they can be enjoyed by audiences today and into the future. Works crafted by hand give expression to an enduring sense of who we are and where we live.

Australia is blessed with a network of substantial state and national galleries. WoCCA seeks to support their work in acquiring Australian craft by promoting recent purchases. We are calling for information and images about purchases of Australian contemporary craft works from across the continent and its islands, specifically including works purchased since 2017.

These will be profiled on our website and shared through our social media. We hope in this way that we can instil pride in the skills and creativity of Australian craft artists and ensure their legacy is sustained into the future.

Information about acquisitions can be submitted here.

See recent acquisitions below: