Wednesday, November 21, 2007

National Art School awarded federal Community Heritage Grant

The National Art School has been awarded a $14,410 federal Community Heritage Grant to fund a Significance Assessment and Preservation Survey of the National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol Collection and Archive, and to rehouse some of the collection in archival storage.

The grant was announced at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, on Tuesday 13 November. Deborah Beck accepted the grant on behalf of NAS from Jan Fullerton, National Library Director-General.

In addition, Deborah Beck, lecturer and archivist at the National Art School, attended a three-day intensive preservation and collection management workshop held at the National Library, the National Archives of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

Deborah said the grant was important in supporting the effort to preserve the National Art School Archive at the grassroots level. “The grant provides the funds and the workshop the expertise to help us protect our collection and make it accessible while it remains in the local context,” she said. “Over the next year it will be possible to employ an historian and conservator to assess the collection and provide advice on the preservation of the documents, photographs and art works in the archive. We will also be purchasing painting racks, plan drawers and display cabinets for the collection.”

In announcing the awards, National Library Director-General Jan Fullerton said the program, which began in 1994, had surpassed expectations. “It has been taken up by groups throughout Australia, ensuring the longevity of nationally significant collections and that the collections stay in the community where they belong.

The program is managed by the National Library. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the National Archives, the National Film and Sound Archive, the National Museum and the Library.