Bundanon Trust Commended for Quick Action in Protecting Valuable Art Collection


Last Saturday, the massive Currowan fire that destroyed decimated coastal communities lying between Bateman’s Bay and Nowra during recent days, had jumped the Shoalhaven River and spurred a new blaze in the Gold Coast, known as the Morton Fire.

Fortunately for the Gold Coast art community, the Bundanon Trust was able to complete the removal of a valuable collection of more than 3800 artworks, with an estimated worth of $43 million, out of the Georgian-style homestead in Shoalhaven Valley, The homestead and the art collection are parts of the legacy bequeathed by prominent Australian artist Arthur Boyd, to the people of Australia.

Bundanon Trust Took Action as before Bushfire Hit Riverdale

The Bundanon Homestead overlooks the Shoalhaven River separating the property from the Morton National Park. it is a 1100-hectare estate in which hundreds of artworks that Boyd had given to the nation in 1993, were kept as exhibits by the Bundanon Trust. Ordinarily, the extensive collection of artworks produced not only by Arthur Boyd, but also by his family and peers, were available for viewing every Sunday.

However, the officers and staff of Bundanon Trust had to close the Bundanon Homestead and Arthur Boyd’s Studio before Christmas. Preparations for the transfer of the irreplaceable collection were already underway in as early as November 2019. Yet it was still a race against time and against the bushfires that had spread quickly, and already burning the ridge behind Riversdale,

According to Deborah Ely, Chief Executive of the Bundanon Trust, work was supposed to have begun for the construction of a purpose-built fireproof underground storage in a new contemporary gallery in which to house the $43 million worth of Bundanon art collection. As it was, Don Harwin, the NSW Minister for Arts had announced in July 2019, the approval of a multimillion funding for the construction of a new subterranean modern gallery in which to showcase and protect the collection that Arthur Boyd had bequeathed to the country.

Yet as the turn of events have it, the dreaded summer bushfires they had anticipated, and which started in August had quickly turned into a catastrophic series of bushfires that up to now continues to threaten the entire country. Ms. Ely said that they had instead worked closely with the Rural Fire Service (RFS) for many weeks as the situation had developed into something that is devastating. They were aware that the RFS would encounter difficulty in gaining access to Riverdale if to defend the Bundanon Homestead against the fire.

Paul Fletcher, the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, commended the officers and staff of the Bundanon Trust for acting quickly in protecting and putting the culturally valuable art collection out of harm’s way.

Ms. Ely said the collection is now in a safe storage in Sydney, and will probably remain there until the planned fireproof storage facility at the Riverdale site attains completion.

About the Bundanon Art Collection

The 3,800 items comprising the Bundanon Collection consists of more than 1,300 art works by Arthur Boyd mostly in the context of the Shoalhaven landscaper from which the artist drew inspiration; and more than 1,200 art pieces belonging to five generations of artists of the Boyd family. The collection also includes a number of art works created by Boyd’s contemporaries in the likes of John Perceval, Sidney Nolan, Charles Blackman and Joy Hester.


The Bundanon Trust website, as made possible by an excellent web hosting gold coast provider, gives online visitors opportunities for viewing images of the art pieces comprising the Bundanon Collection.