Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu today announced the appointment of Mr Tony Ellwood as the new Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, and the re-appointment of Mr Allan Myers AO QC as President of the NGV Council of Trustees.
Mr Baillieu said that after a national and international search, Tony Ellwood had been appointed to succeed long-serving NGV Director Dr Gerard Vaughan. Mr Ellwood will begin his new role on 1 August 2012.
“I am delighted to welcome Tony Ellwood back to Victoria to lead Australia’s oldest public art gallery in this new chapter of its distinguished history,” Mr Baillieu said.
Currently Director of the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Mr Ellwood served as Deputy Director of the NGV from 2000 to 2007, with a focus on international art, education and public programs. During this time he played an instrumental role in the redevelopment and re-opening of NGV International on St Kilda Road.
“Tony has a strong track record in gallery leadership in Australia, is highly respected and connected internationally, and has an exciting vision for the NGV, an institution that is close to his heart,” Mr Baillieu said.
“He’s the right person to lead the NGV in this next stage of its development and I am confident that our Gallery – and Victoria’s cultural reputation – will continue to prosper and grow with him at the helm.”
President of the NGV Council of Trustees Allan Myers AO QC said Mr Ellwood had a strong reputation for management, facility development and exhibition planning and delivery.
“He will bring a considerable wealth of experience from several high level posts, all of which will support him in the leadership of the NGV,” Mr Myers said.
In Brisbane, Mr Ellwood has been successful in expanding audiences, developing the collection, attracting corporate and philanthropic support and raising the gallery’s profile, including building the reputation of the new Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA).
Mr Ellwood developed a new exhibitions program across the two sites, overhauled the permanent collection displays and staged a series of high calibre international exhibitions.
Born in Alexandra in regional Victoria, Mr Ellwood served as Director of the Bendigo Art Gallery, one of Australia’s leading regional galleries, from 1996 to 1999 where he increased audiences by 300 per cent.
Mr Ellwood said he was delighted to return home to Victoria and to the NGV.
“It is a true privilege to be selected as the next Director of the NGV. The NGV is one of the most significant cultural institutions in the region, and I look forward to contributing to the next exciting phase in the history of this esteemed gallery,” Mr Ellwood said.
The Premier, Allan Myers and Tony Ellwood all paid tribute to retiring NGV Director Dr Gerard Vaughan.
“Gerard Vaughan has been an outstanding Director of the NGV for the past 13 years, and under his leadership the gallery has gone from strength to strength,” Mr Baillieu said.
“Gerard is held in high esteem within the Gallery and the wider community for his scholarship and his dedication to the NGV and its extensive collection.
“His contribution to fundraising and building the NGV’s collections has been transformative for the gallery, and he leaves the NGV in a strong and assured position for the new Director,” Mr Baillieu said.