The Art Gallery of New South Wales has awarded John Kaldor AO its highest honour of Life Governor. The accolade recognises outstanding individual service, advocacy and support for the Gallery.

Making the announcement, David Gonski AC, President of the Board of Trustees, said John Kaldor’s extremely generous contributions to the Gallery cannot be overestimated.

“John is hugely deserving of this honour and it’s my very great pleasure on behalf of the Trustees to award him a Life Governorship of the Art Gallery of New South Wales,” Mr Gonski said. 

“The Gallery has a long history of support from many highly committed philanthropists who provide our audiences the opportunity to engage with contemporary art from around the world, and the gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection in 2008 was the most significant and influential in the Gallery’s history.

“John’s extensive association with the Gallery encompasses not only the gift of works but also collaborations on Kaldor Public Art Projects and service as a Trustee,” Mr Gonski added. 

 “I’m very honoured to receive this great award and I’m pleased that David Gonski, a close friend and mentor, is presenting it to me,” John Kaldor AO said.

“I have been associated with the Art Gallery of New South Wales for over 50 years in a number of different roles and over the years formed many close relationships. The Gallery has been an important part of my life.”

To further celebrate and honour the contribution John Kaldor and his family have made to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, director Michael Brand announced the Gallery’s entrance court is to be named the John Kaldor Family Hall.

“This space that warmly welcomes all visitors to our existing building has often featured works associated with John Kaldor and is a hub of activities that engage visitors with contemporary art through exhibitions, performances and other public programs.

“I’m delighted the entrance court will now be known as the John Kaldor Family Hall. The John Kaldor Family Collection is a lynchpin of the Gallery’s late 20th-century holdings, and the display of these works across both the existing and the new building designed by SANAA will continue to emphasise its importance,” Dr Brand said.

Mr Kaldor said, “Along with my wife Naomi, my children and grandchildren, I welcome and appreciate this new acknowledgement of the family’s contribution and look very much forward to yet another important phase in the Gallery’s history, the Sydney Modern Project.”

In addition to the new building, the Gallery’s expansion features revitalisation of the existing building. The presentation of art across both buildings is being thoughtfully considered. As part of this new presentation, the Lower Level 2 space previously known as the John Kaldor Family Gallery will become a temporary exhibition space.

Visitors to the Gallery in 2020 will be able to view major works from the Kaldor Collection in the free exhibition Some mysterious process: Fifty years of collecting international art at AGNSW from 18 April – 16 August 2020, curated by Michael Brand.

The current exhibition Making art public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects is at the Gallery until 16 February 2020.

Featured image : John Kaldor Pic by Daniel Boud