“Our collection is full of wonders from around the world, from Rembrandt to Carr and Genghis Khan to ancient Syria. It is the job of the Collections Department to manage these objects (20,000 and counting) to document them, ship them, produce exhibitions, frame them, photograph them and care for them, come have a look behind the scenes, have a peek at what we do and how we do it.” – Stephen Topfer, Manager of Collections and Exhibition, AGGV

You’ve wandered around the galleries of the AGGV admiring the artworks. You’ve read the information cards and learned about the artists and their connection with Victoria. You may have even bought the exhibition catalogues in the Gallery Shop. Having enjoyed the polish of the main guest areas, there is now a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes to explore the areas of the Gallery not usually accessible to visitors. Down in the depths of the AGGV lives the ‘Art Vault’, and on April 19 you can see it for yourself.

The Collections Vault Tour, led by Manager of Collections and Exhibition, Stephen Topfer, and Registrar Lesley Golding, is part of our Communities + Collections series. Through this series of lectures, tours and workshops, fresh insights into the AGGV’s permanent collection build up the connection between the Gallery and the various communities it serves in Victoria.

Storage facilities in the collections vault

What can we expect from the tour? Firstly, you will see where the art goes when it is not on display. The Gallery’s permanent collection comprises paintings in various media, of many sizes and formats, Asian scroll paintings, as well as furniture, sculpture and objets d’art. Storage for the myriad of art forms requires custom facilities, and all this will be revealed in the tour, together with all the requirements needed to ensure that the artworks are properly cared for while in storage.

Conservation is fundamental to the proper care of the artworks at the AGGV. Stephen and Lesley will discuss this process which ensures that preservation is done with minimal intervention, such as restoration.

Behind the scenes in the collections vault

The creation of exhibitions in the Gallery requires a considerable amount of behind-the-scenes work, from photography to construction of pedestals, partitions and other custom display pieces. Participants will get the chance to find out more about the work that goes into setting up an exhibition.

Stephen and Lesley look forward to welcoming you to the ‘Art Vault’!

Communities + Collections: Behind the Scenes | Collections Vault Tour | Wednesday, April 19 2017 | 2 PM & 2:45 PM