The Art Gallery of Western Australia Shows Princely Treasures From the V&A

Perth, Australia.- The Art Gallery of Western Australia is proud to present “Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces 1600-1800 From the Victoria and Albert Museum”, on view from September 24th through October 27th, coinciding with the Commonwealth Festival in Perth. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, has one of the greatest collections of European decorative art of the 17th and 18th centuries, from the miniature to the monumental. Over ninety masterpieces from these magnificent collections have been selected for this exhibition, including painting and sculpture, ceramics and glass, metalwork and furniture, textiles and dress, prints and drawings.

They were acquired and used by European men and women of power, wealth and taste. Many were made by Europe’s finest artists and craftsmen, using precious materials from around the world. They come from all corners of the continent – from Britain and France, Italy and Germany, Russia and Spain, Austria and Belgium, Holland and Sweden. The exhibition presents a series of themes encapsulating important aspects of courtly life in Europe. It begins with an opening section looking at power and patronage in Europe between 1600 and 1800, presenting key figures from European courts who were great patrons of the arts. The following sections focus on four different aspects of courtly life: the importance of war; the role of religion; the peaceful arts of the domestic interior and the magnificence of personal adornment. Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum is accompanied by a fully illustrated exhibition publication, available soon from the Art Gallery Shop. The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 2000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform.

The Art Gallery of Western Australia, founded in 1895, occupies a precinct of three heritage buildings on the south-eastern corner of the Perth Cultural Centre. The Gallery houses the State Art Collection, which includes one of the world’s finest collections of Indigenous art, the pre-eminent collection of Western Australian art and design, as well as Australian and International art and design. Through the Collection, its associated programs, and stimulating exhibitions they offer Gallery visitors unique and exciting experiences of historic and contemporary Australian artists, and bring the art of the world to Western Australia. They place particular emphasis on the arts of Australia, and due to its geographic position, the Indian Ocean Rim. Their proximity and access to many of the most exciting cultures of the world adds immeasurably to programs, exhibitions, collections and events at the State Art Gallery. The Gallery aims to develop the pre-eminent art collection in Western Australia by acquiring, preserving, displaying and interpreting the visual arts from the past and present. Our emphasis is on Western Australian and Indigenous art, and the influences of both Australian and international arts which have informed local developments. The State Art Collection contains more than 17,000 works of art. The holdings of Indigenous art are a highlight of the Collection, providing a comprehensive overview of traditional and contemporary works from Arnhemland, the Central Desert and Western Australia. Twentieth century Australian and British paintings and sculpture are a particular strength of the Collection, which also has extensive holdings of prints, photographs, drawings, decorative arts, craft and design from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. The Gallery places a high priority on the purchase of the art of today to create a legacy for future generations.