A love of art has inspired Flinders University graduate Tony Preston to leave a bequest in his Will to the Flinders University Museum of Art.
Tony Preston (BA ’71, DipEd ’75) has spent his professional and personal life intrinsically involved in art. At Flinders University he studied a Bachelor of Arts followed by a Diploma of Education, before becoming education officer at the Art Gallery of South Australia, then chief education officer at the National Gallery of Victoria.
In 1995 he was appointed director of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery in Christchurch, New Zealand, with the added responsibility and opportunity of establishing the Christchurch Art Gallery.
In 2003 Tony became founding director of the award-winning public art museum, before returning to Melbourne five years later to join one of Australia’s leading fine art auction houses, Deutscher and Hackett, in the roles of corporate collections development and senior art specialist.
Now retired, Tony wants to ensure that his lifelong involvement of celebrating and supporting art can endure through his bequest to the Flinders University Museum of Art (FUMA).
‘I remember my Flinders University years with great pleasure. There was a sense that anything was possible – we had both the freedom to pursue our dreams and the opportunity to attain our goals,’ says Tony.
‘The result of this unique educational experience was my good fortune to have a remarkably rewarding life involved with art and, in appreciation, I now want to provide help in a practical way.’
The FUMA collection is unique in Australia for bringing together four major collection areas: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art; European prints; Post-object and documentation art; and Australian political prints and posters.
It’s a treasure trove of more than 8,000 works that Tony wants to see developed and utilised to its maximum potential.