Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

David Walsh & MONA

with 2 comments

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

Ladies and gentlemen, the eccentric himself, 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.

MONA along the Derwent River.

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!?

– H.I.

P.S. Bonus Content: Highlights from MONA’s collection.

Vagina Art: Greg Taylor, “Cunts…And Other Conversations,” 2008-9.

Bestiality Art: Oleg Kulig, “Family of the Future,” 1997.

Shitty Art: Wim Delvoye, Cloaca Machine.

P.P.S.  You’re very welcome.

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2 Responses

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  1. Fantastic! TY!

    Vaneeesa Blaylock

    July 3, 2012 at 8:33 AM

  2. […] begin in a dark corner of the world, Tasmania: it is there eccentric collector David Walsh built the Museum of Old and New Art to house his collections of antiquities and contemporary art.  […]


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