Buxton Contemporary opened in 2018 at the University of Melbourne’s art school, the Victorian College of the Arts. Designed by renowned architects Fender Katsalidis, the museum is comprised of four public exhibition galleries, teaching facilities, and the largest outdoor screen in Australia dedicated to the display of moving image art. The museum is located in the heart of the Melbourne arts precinct where it provides a creative forum through which the University engages local, national and international audiences with the best of contemporary Australian and international art.
Buxton Contemporary is the result of a landmark gift to the University by the art collector and property developer Michael Buxton. In 1995 Michael founded the Michael Buxton Collection with the aim of developing a museum quality collection of contemporary Australian art. The Collection acquired individual artists’ work in depth, across media, and over time, while supporting those artists to practice ambitiously. Within twenty years the Collection had grown to more than 350 major artworks and was widely recognised as one of the most important collections of recent Australian art held anywhere in the world.
In 2014, in one of the most significant acts of cultural philanthropy in Australian history, Michael and Janet Buxton donated the Collection to the University of Melbourne, along with funds to build and partially endow a new museum in which to house it. Since opening on the 7th of March 2018, Buxton Contemporary uses the Michael Buxton Collection as a foundation and inspiration for exhibitions, performance, research, teaching and publishing.
Melbourne’s major new art museum draws upon the Michael Buxton Collection as a springboard for exhibitions, events, research, publishing and ideas.