Christopher Menz reviews 'Philanthropy and the Arts' by Jennifer Radbourne and Kenneth Watkins

Christopher Menz reviews 'Philanthropy and the Arts' by Jennifer Radbourne and Kenneth Watkins

Philanthropy and the Arts

by Jennifer Radbourne and Kenneth Watkins

Melbourne University Press, $44.99 hb, 256 pp, 9780522868708

The Australian Ballet's role as a leader in philanthropy and fundraising has long been recognised in the arts community. Anyone who has followed the company will be aware of the sophistication of its fundraising activities and its phenomenal success. Much of this has been directed by Kenneth Watkins, who since 1993 has worked in various fundraising roles at The Australian Ballet.

Philanthropy and the Arts examines, through current theory and individual case studies, The Australian Ballet's philanthropic success within the wider context of philanthropy and the arts in Australia. While the historical context here is more applicable to performing arts organisations than to art museums, whose collections since their establishment in the nineteenth century have been largely built on philanthropy, the present-day applications described have sector-wide applications, showing remarkable ingenuity, a willingness to take risks, and success. (Certain literary magazines are finding innovative ways to attract private support.)

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Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz is a former Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia (2005–10) and in 2011–12 was Acting Director of The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne. Prior to these roles, he held curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, and the National Gallery of Victoria, specialising in decorative arts. He has published extensively on the decorative arts, notably the design work of William Morris, and is a regular contributor to ABR.

Published in November 2015, no. 376

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