The atrium of the new ‘Sydney Modern’ Art Gallery NSW extension. (Supplied: Art Gallery of NSW)
The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) has been given the go-ahead for a $244 million expansion with the funding budgeted in the upcoming NSW budget, the Government has confirmed.
AGNSW is raising an additional $100 million through private donors, 70 per cent of which has already been pledged.
Arts Minister Don Harwin said the extension gallery, to be known as the Sydney Modern, will be in better shape to compete for travelling exhibitions.
“For too long New South Wales has lost out to other states when it comes to attracting major, international art exhibitions,” he said.
“Comments have been made at past travelling exhibitions that it was crowded, it was difficult to get to see the paintings, well that will all change.”
Mr Harwin said exhibition space would double, enabling the Gallery to display more of its indigenous collection and expand its educational programs.
With school children, the number of people visiting the gallery is expected to double to two million a year.
The gallery will remain open to the public after construction begins in 2019.
It is expected the project will be completed in time for the 150th anniversary of the Gallery’s founding in 1871, and the 100th anniversary of the Archibald Prize.
An extra $100 million for the expansion is coming from private donors. (Supplied: Art Gallery of NSW)