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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 include an art work donated to, commissioned or otherwise acquired by an organisational area within the University if that art work is not part of the ANU Art Collection. It also does not include an art work that is part of the public art collection.

Collection is the ANU Art Collection.

Curator is an employee of the Drill Hall Gallery, answerable to the Director, who is responsible for either 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.


  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 of art works, including gifts, purchases and commissions;
  • deaccessioning of art works;
  • the exhibition program for the Drill Hall Gallery;
  • procedures for display of art works from the Collection; and
  • 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 ex officio
  • 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 academic community with an established interest in the Drill Hall Gallery and the ANU Art Collection
  • the President of the Friends of the Drill Hall Gallery
  • an indigenous representative.

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 all proposals for the purchase, or donation, of artworks for the ANU Art Collection and approve or reject such proposals in consultation with the Director, and
  • 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.
  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 continued research; and
  • ensuring that art works are lent only to institutions which can provide satisfactory handling, security and environmental control and which meet all other 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, preference will be given to more public spaces and those spaces occupied by more 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 a University asset. The organisational unit which owns the art work is 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 with earlier works and of those 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); and
  • 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; and
  • 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 Government's Cultural Gifts Program. As there are costs associated with the Cultural Gifts Program, particularly in valuations, the Director will decide if a work can be given under the Cultural Gifts Program, balancing the worth of the work against the 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 or is not authentic if the sale of works is necessary for natural reasons in order to maintain the overall collection.
  1. Deaccessioning is proposed by the Director or Curator (Collection) and requires approval by the Advisory Committee.
  2. Works of ascertainable value can be:
  • Offered for sale to another gallery/ auction house, or
  • Offered to the artist, estate or original donor.
  1. Work too badly deteriorated, of poor quality and no ascertainable value can be disposed of in a manner determined by the Curator (Collection) with approval from the Director.
  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 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:
  • Touring Exhibitions: exhibitions of an historical or social context or nature offered by touring agencies, including state and regional galleries, university galleries and overseas cultural agencies.
  • A Canberra Arts Program: exhibitions that enhance ANU’s educational role and which complement the range of exhibitions available in the ACT.
  • Material Culture Exhibitions from the Asian-Pacific Region: anticipating important new areas of on-going development which will involve ANU Colleges, the National Gallery of Australia, other galleries, Asialink and other agencies on a project basis.
  • Public Education Programs: exhibitions that are held in conjunction with major conferences or public events and are integrated with lectures, presentations and seminars. Such exhibitions are designed to raise public awareness of these conferences and events, and should have a broader educational role.
  • Interdisciplinary Exhibitions: exhibitions which are developed in conjunction with appropriate ANU academic interests, including Art History, Asian Studies, Archaeology and Anthropology, Classics, the Centre for Indigenous Studies, the Colleges and the ANU Art Collection.
  1. The Drill Hall Gallery will often exhibit work which would not usually be shown by a commercial/private gallery. This may include work from public or private collections, work of an ephemeral nature (e.g. installations), or work which in other ways may not be fashionable or commercially oriented.
  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 and there is a query about purchasing the work, the Drill Hall Gallery will put the potential buyer 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 change the location of an art work in the University. If an art work needs to be rehung or moved to a new location, or if any problem arises with the art work’s siting, the Curator (Collection) must be contacted.
  2. University staff should take the following precautions in relation to art works:
  • Objects must not be placed against art works or within a dangerous proximity of them.
  • Art works should not be in direct sunlight.
  • Sources of heat or steam should be kept away from art works: for example, art works must not be hung above heaters.
  • Three-dimensional works such as sculptures, and glass and ceramic vessels, must not be used as functional objects.
  • Security must be appropriate.
  1. University staff must inform the Curator (Collection) 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.
  2. The Curator (Collection) must be notified immediately if an art work is damaged or stolen.
  3. The Curator (Collection) may remove art works from any area at any time, including for the purposes of maintenance, repair or for loan elsewhere.
  4. Certain works have been associated with a particular area of campus, school or organisation, and due consideration of this will be given when deciding where to display them.


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

Delegations relevant to this procedure

  • 000247: Accept gifts and bequests to the University.


Printable version (PDF)
Title ANU Art Collection and Drill Hall Gallery
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_5957299
Version 2
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 6 Sep 2019
Next Review Date 5 Sep 2022
Responsible Officer: Director, Drill Hall Gallery
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Drill Hall Gallery and University Art Collection
Delegations 247