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Procedure: ANU art collection and Drill Hall Gallery


This procedure sets out the mechanisms relating to the ownership, management and curation of the ANU Art Collection, the operation of the ANU Drill Hall Gallery and the establishment of an advisory committee.


Art work is an art work in the ANU Art Collection or at the Drill Hall Gallery. It does not pertain to art work donated to, commissioned or otherwise acquired by any organisational area within the University if said art work has not been acknowledged and inscribed as part of the ANU Art Collection. Until the present time and for the foreseeable future it does not pertain to artworks belonging to the ANU Public Art Collection.

Collection is the ANU Art Collection.

Curator is an employee of the Drill Hall Gallery, answerable to the Director, who, as their deputy, assumes responsibility for the management of exhibitions (Curator (Exhibitions)) or the management of the ANU Art Collection (Curator (Collection)).

Director is the Director, ANU Art Collection and Drill Hall Gallery who assumes responsibility for the management of exhibitions and the ANU Art Collection.


  1. This procedure is made under the ANU Art Collection policy and the Drill Hall Gallery policy. It sets out:
  • the appointment, functions and membership of the ‘ANU Art Collection and Drill Hall Advisory Committee’;
  • collection management procedures;
  • acquisitions criteria for works, including gifts, purchases and commissions;
  • guidelines for deaccessioning of art works;
  • the exhibition program for the Drill Hall Gallery;
  • procedures for display of art works from the Collection;
  • guidelines for reproduction of images of art works.

Advisory committee

  1. The Vice-Chancellor will appoint, on the advice of the Director, an ‘ANU Drill Hall Gallery and Art Collection Advisory Committee’ comprising at least five and up to seven members:
  • the Director of the Drill Hall Gallery (Chair), ex officio
  • the Curator (Exhibitions) ex officio
  • the Curator (Collections) ex officio
  • the ANU Heritage officer
  • a person appointed in consultation with the Head of the ANU School of Art & Design
  • a curator from the National Gallery of Australia or major Art institution
  • a member of the ANU staff with an established interest in the Drill Hall Gallery and the ANU Art Collection
  • the President of the Friends of the Drill Hall Gallery
  • a First Nations stakeholder.

Functions of the Advisory Committee

  1. The functions of the Advisory Committee are to:
  • provide professional advice to the Director, Drill Hall Gallery on the Gallery’s exhibition program;
  • consider and advise on external proposals for exhibition made to the Drill Hall Gallery;
  • consider proposals for the purchase, or donation, of artworks for the ANU Art Collection and approve or reject such proposals in consultation with the Director;
  • advise the Director on policy relating to the Drill Hall Gallery and the ANU Art Collection.
  1. Members will be appointed for a period of three years and are eligible for re-appointment.
  2. The Committee will meet at least once per year and as required by circular resolution.
  3. Members of the Committee will declare any interest or involvement they may have in any proposal for the purchase or donation of a work for the Collection, or for an exhibition to be included in the Gallery’s program, when the Committee is considering it.
  4. A quorum will consist of at least 50 percent of the committee members. A member may vote on a resolution of the committee by email or in writing if notice of the resolution is given and the member submits their vote to the Secretary prior to the meeting or agreed deadline.
  5. Secretariat support for the Committee will be provided by a staff member nominated by the Director.
  6. The Committee will report annually to the Vice-Chancellor on its activities during the year, including details of how often it met and who attended each meeting.

Collection management

  1. The University provides suitable care and protection for the ANU Art Collection by:
  • ensuring the integrity and security of art works in the collection by exhibiting, storing and conserving them in a professional manner;
  • employing registration procedures and maintaining appropriate records, including cataloguing of artworks and pursuing research;
  • ensuring that art works are lent only to institutions which can provide satisfactory handling, security and environmental control meeting the conditions determined by the University.
  1. University staff members may request art works for display in their offices, seminar rooms, foyers and other building spaces. Requests should be made to the Curator (Collections) by email. In determining allocation and subject to availability, priority will be given to more publically accessible spaces and work spaces allocated to senior staff.
  2. An art work which is not part of the Art Collection but which is owned by an organisational unit of the University is acknowledged as a University asset. The organisational unit which owns the art work assumes responsible for its ongoing management and maintenance.


  1. Requests for loans of art works outside the University should be made to the Director and are subject to approval by the Curator (Collection).

Acquisitions, including purchases and commissions

  1. The policy in relation to acquisitions is:
  • to purchase or accept gifts of works of art by significant artists;
  • to acquire recent works of significant contemporary Australian artists who are already represented in the Collection and of artists who have specific links with the ANU;
  • to give special consideration to the acquisition of at least one significant work by an emerging Australian artist every year;
  • to ensure that the Collection demonstrates a commitment to inclusiveness and diversity;
  • to ensure that a particular opportunity to acquire an exceptional work of art is acted upon;
  • to accept gifts of works of high artistic merit by recognised artists from Australia and abroad, at the discretion of the Director and the Curator (Collection);
  • to encourage gifts to the Collection with a view to enhancing its quality, depth and inclusiveness.
  1. On the advice of the Director and endorsement by the Advisory Committee, the University will acquire art works in accordance with the Art Collection policy, also taking into consideration:
  • budgetary provision;
  • clear legal title;
  • the condition of the art work;
  • the source of the art work, including ownership and cultural significance;
  • conservation and maintenance costs and storage requirements;
  • suitability for display on campus.
  1. Newly acquired art works will be photographed, catalogued and accessioned as soon as possible after acquisition.

Gifts and bequests

  1. The Advisory Committee will determine the acceptability of gifts of appropriate art works to the Art Collection in line with the policy. Anyone who is considering making a gift or bequest of an art work should contact the Director to discuss in consultation with the Curator (Collection).
  2. Gifts to the Collection may be eligible for the tax incentives provided by the Australian Federal Government's Cultural Gifts Program. As there are costs associated with the Cultural Gifts Program, particularly in regard to valuations, the Director will approve whether a work can be given under the Cultural Gifts Program, balancing the worth of the work against the associated costs.


  1. The University will remove an art work from the Collection only in exceptional circumstances if:
  • it no longer meets the objectives of the Collection;
  • it is in poor physical condition;
  • it is hazardous to people or other art works;
  • the cost of its maintenance outweighs its value; or
  • there is reason to believe it is of unlawful provenance, is not authentic, or if the sale of works provides revenue that is necessary for the proper care of the collection (however, funds not to be used to meet operational shortfalls)
  1. Gifts made under the Australian Federal Government’s Cultural Gifts Program are not returned to the donor as the donor has already received the benefit of a tax deduction for the gift.
  2. Deaccessioning is proposed by the Director or Curator (Collection) in reference to the Deaccession and Disposal Guidelines (ANU Collections) and requires approval by the Advisory Committee.
  3. In no event should the potential monetary value of an object be considered as the primary motive for determining whether or not to deaccession. Such activity undermines the concepts of fiduciary responsibility and public trust.
  4. Works nominated for deaccession can be:
  • Offered to the artist, estate or original donor (with consideration to clause 20)
  • Offered to another public collecting institution or museum
  • Disposed by sale to another gallery/ auction house
  1. Work too badly deteriorated, of poor quality and of no ascertainable value can be disposed of in a manner consistent with the Deaccession and Disposal Guidelines (ANU Collections) by the Curator (Collection) with approval from the Director and/or Advisory Committee.
  2. Every effort will be made to notify the artist and/or donor of a proposed deaccession.
  3. Any income obtained from deaccessioned art works will be used solely for maintenance or acquisitions for the Art Collection.

Exhibition program – Drill Hall Gallery

  1. The Drill Hall Gallery has built a national reputation for survey and thematic exhibitions, developed in house, accompanied by high quality publications.
  2. The Drill Hall Gallery supports the arts in the Canberra region by presenting exhibitions developed to complement the University’s wide-ranging academic interests and to coincide with major conferences and public events.
  3. The Director and the Curator (Exhibitions) will organise an annual program of exhibitions. The following perspectives are used in developing the exhibition program:
  • presenting a selective program of diverse and stimulating exhibitions that highlight
  • achievements in contemporary visual arts, both nationally and internationally;
  • mounting link exhibitions developed in conjunction with the University's wide ranging academic interests or to coincide with major conferences and public events;
  • showing exhibitions of an historical or social context or nature offered by touring;
  • agencies, including national, state and regional galleries, University galleries and overseas public cultural agencies.
  1. The Drill Hall Gallery may favour work which would not usually be shown by a commercial/private gallery. This may include work from public or private collections, works of an ephemeral or site-specific nature (e.g. installations), or work which may not be fashionable or commercially favoured.
  2. As a non-profit organisation, the Drill Hall Gallery does not sell art works. However, if the artist or the sponsoring organisation has indicated that the art work is available for sale the Drill Hall Gallery is permitted to put interested parties in touch with the artist or the artist’s agent or dealer.
  3. The Drill Hall Gallery does not accept a commission on any works sold.

Display of artworks

  1. No staff member other than Drill Hall Gallery and Art Collection staff may tamper with a work or change its location once it has been installed. If an art work needs to be rehung or moved to a new location, or if a problem arises with the art work’s siting or environmental conditions, the Curator (Collection) must be contacted immediately.
  2. University staff should take the following precautions in relation to art works:
  • No objects may be leaned against art works or placed within a dangerous proximity of them.
  • Art works should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Sources of heat or steam should be kept away from art works: for example, art works must not be hung above heaters or near kettles.
  • Three-dimensional works such as sculptures, and glass and ceramic vessels, must not be used as functional objects.
  • Requirements for the security should be explained, respected and upheld.
  1. University staff must inform the Curator (Collection) in advance of any building renovations, painting or repairs that might threaten an art work. In particular, university staff and contractors should consider the risks of dust, impact damage and any compromise to the security of an art work. If necessary, art works will be relocated for safe keeping by the Curator.
  2. The Curator (Collection) must be notified immediately if an art work is damaged, missing or stolen.
  3. The Curator must be notified in case of fire, flood or any unforeseen risk that may damage an art work.
  4. The Curator (Collection) may remove art works from any area at any time, including for the purposes of maintenance, repair or for loan elsewhere.
  5. Certain works have historically been associated with a particular area of campus, schools or organisations, and due consideration will be given when they are displayed


  1. University staff who wish to reproduce or communicate an image from the ANU Art Collection must first contact the Curator (Collection). In most cases copyright remains with the artist. The publisher of the image is responsible for obtaining copyright permission as required.


Printable version (PDF)
Title ANU Art Collection and Drill Hall Gallery
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_5957299
Purpose This procedure sets out the mechanisms relating to the ownership, management and curation of the ANU art collection, the operation of the ANU Drill Hall Gallery and the establishment of an advisory committee. The membership of the Advisory Committee has been expanded to include representation from ANU Heritage and an indigenous representative.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Buildings & Grounds - Drill Hall Gallery
Effective Date 8 Dec 2022
Next Review Date 8 Dec 2027
Responsible Officer: Director, Drill Hall Gallery
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Drill Hall Gallery and University Art Collection
Delegations 247

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.