INSITE / November 2018 - January 2019 / Contemporary Collecting

The November-January issue of INSITE on the theme ‘Contemporary Collecting’ has five articles about contemporary collecting practices in museums and galleries in Victoria. Below is a list of the issue’s contents and associated links. For information about how to get a copy you can contact our office or via our website.

Collaborating and Co-Curating with Living Artists (page 2-3)
The National Gallery of Victoria commissioned artist Ron Mueck to create an artwork for the NGV Triennial held in 2017. The creation of the work was managed across several production venues in Melbourne involving specialist contractors and NGV staff. Michael Varcoe-Cocks, Head of Conservation, National Gallery of Victoria, takes us through the process of collaboration with the artist and the valuable conservation and curatorial information that this model of production provided to the Gallery.

Collecting Born-Digital Material (Page 4)
Museums are acquiring valuable information about collection items from an expanding field of sources provided by digital media. Sophie Shilling,  Archivist, Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) and Online Outreach Officer, Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS), takes us through some of the challenges with selecting and preserving born-digital information.
Download a copy of Collecting and Preserving Digital Materials: a how-to guide for historical societies at:

Artist Interviews for Conservation (page 5)
Taking artist interviews provides museums with a valuable tool for the future. Sabine Cotte, Honorary Fellow of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, University of Melbourne, outlines some of the benefits of an artist interview in the preparation of conservation treatments.

A Prize That Brings its Own Rewards (page 6)
Maintaining a program of acquisitions can be a challenge in a competitive and prohibitive art market. Narelle Russo, Collections Curator, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, explains how the introduction of an acquisitive prize has enabled the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery to build a strong collection.

Collecting Contemporary Protest (page 7)
Museums of all types collect contemporary material that will contribute to the stories they are able to tell in the future. Michelle Stevenson, Senior Curator, Politics and Society, Museums Victoria, takes us through how staff at Museums Victoria have collected from protests and shares some of the issues that cropped up during the process.
Find out more about Museums Victoria’s women’s protest collection at:

The Victorian Museum Awards (page 8-11)
The 2018 Victorian Museum Awards were presented on the 29th August at Melbourne Museum. Now in their 25th year, the Awards celebrate the achievements of the Victorian museum and gallery sector. The event was hosted by ABC Radio Presenter, Jacinta Parsons with a presentation by Frank McGuire, Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research and Member for Broadmeadows.

The Veteran’s Heritage Project 2018-2021 (page 11)
The Veterans Heritage Project is protecting, preserving and increasing access to Victoria’s military history.
Visit the Veterans Heritage project at:

Apps & Online (page 13)

Wakelet lets you save online links as a collection that you can use on social media or embed on your organisation’s website. The Ashmolean Museum used Wakelet to aggregate tweets about an exhibition visit.
Visit the Ashmolean Museum Wakelet at:

An app that brings the University of Oxford’s historic musical instruments to life. Instruments from the Ashmolean Museum collection were recorded to enable users to play them.

Soft Power Map
This pilot project enables users to visualise ACMI’s cultural collections, online audiences, international networks and the impact of travelling exhibitions. Plans are underway for collaborations with museums around the world. ‘Soft power’ is the “influence achieved through activities which are not formally organised by governments.

Evaluation Resource
A resource from the Cultural Development Network that supports local government and other organisations with evaluating the outcomes of their cultural development activity.

Collecting & Preserving Digital Materials Guide
This online guide, authored by Sophie Shilling for the Federation of Australian Historical Societies (FAHS), is an excellent resource on collecting and preserving digital materials.

Vanitas is an “artwork for smart phones and cemeteries” that is “part documentary, part fantasy.” Vanitas was commissioned by Arts House and the Australia Council for the Arts.

The items included in Apps & Online are information listings and have not been tested or reviewed by MA (Vic).


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AMaGA Victoria respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work, the Woi Wurrung people and honour their Ancestors, Elders and next generations of community. AMaGA Victoria acknowledges and pays respect to the Elders of all the Nations of Victoria, past, present and emerging.