The Art Gallery of New South Wales has honoured three generations of Packer family support by naming its major temporary exhibition gallery, currently displaying Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, the Packer Family Gallery.
The Packer family has supported the Gallery since at least 1953, when the family loaned works to exhibitions organised by the Art Gallery of NSW. Mrs Frank Packer loaned her Dobell portrait of Australian journalist and novelist Brian Penton to the coronation exhibition in London in 1953, which the Gallery helped organise.
Art Gallery of NSW director Dr Michael Brand said the philanthropy of the Packer family and the dedication to the Gallery by individual family members has assisted the art museum to pursue excellence and inspire and broaden audiences.
“The Gallery has enjoyed the Packer family’s very generous support for decades. The highly significant contribution of individual members of the family has and will continue to contribute to curatorial research, art acquisitions and the development of exhibitions and our public and education programs.
“Notably Mrs Roslyn Packer and her late husband Kerry assisted with the acquisition of our magnificent Cy Twombly triptych and the creation of our Centenary Auditorium. Their generosity has been furthered through the support of Ms Gretel Packer who, like her grandparents and parents, has a deep and genuine commitment to the arts. Gretel is a wonderful supporter of the Gallery not only through her philanthropic leadership, but also through her work as an Art Gallery of NSW Trustee,” Dr Brand said.
Since 2014 the Packer Family Foundation and the Crown Resorts Foundation envisioned and founded by James Packer, have committed over $10.5 million dollars to the Gallery.
“We are delighted to be paying tribute to the Packer family by naming our temporary exhibition gallery in their honour,” Dr Brand added.
Thanking the Art Gallery of New South Wales for its formal recognition of the Packer family’s support Ms Gretel Packer said the naming of the temporary exhibition gallery as the Packer Family Gallery was a very significant occasion for her family.
“The Art Gallery of NSW is a wonderful, wonderful place that contributes so much to our city, our state and our nation. For my family it is a deeply, deeply special place that demonstrates a high level of care and respect for the many communities it serves.
“I love the Gallery, its collection and the people who work here. It’s a thrill to know that the expansion of the Gallery, made possible through the combination of both private and state funding, will assist generations of people to experience the joy and transforming affect of art,” Ms Packer said.
The Packer family joins a wider group of supporters with Gallery spaces dedicated in recognition of their generosity and commitment to the Art Gallery of NSW. They include James Fairfax, John Schaeffer, Franco and Amina Belgiorno-Nettis, Dorothy Street, Margaret Olley, Edmund and Joanna Capon, David Gonski and Sir Frank Lowy, Ken and Yasuko Myer, Edward and Goldie Sternberg, Rudy Komon, Nelson Meers and one of the Gallery’s greatest supporters, John Kaldor.
Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum is showing in the Packer Family Gallery until 18 February 2018.