David Walsh & MONA
Private Collector Museums
As promised, lets explore a series of amazing/crazy collectors around the world who have built museums to house their collections. First up, David Walsh
Let’s begin in a dark corner at the bottom of the world, Tasmania. It is there that eccentric collector David Walsh (who made his fortunes developing gambling systems) built the Museum of Old And New Art to house his collections of antiquities and contemporary art. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia with an $8 million annual operating budget. The funding comes from Walsh, and from other business Walsh developed on the sprawling Morilla estate where the museum is located.
The winery, brewery, restaurant and sexy boutique hotel all benefit from a micro Bilbao effect (people go there for the museum), which in turn financially supports the museum. Walsh is frank about his intentions, and unlike some of the following collectors he does not see MONA as a philanthropic, or education cause, nor does he give “a shit” about MONA’s economic impact on its locality. How little he gives a shit is revealed in the museum’s design. MONA is built into the side of a tidal riverbed and will eventually self-destruct due to erosion. “In 50 years, there’s going to have to be a lot of money spent on Mona or it’s going to be underwater.” Walsh’s give-a-fuck attitude makes him an exception in this global survey. Who’s excited to see more of these crazy 1%-ers!?
P.S. Bonus Content: Highlights from MONA’s collection.
P.P.S. You’re very welcome.