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About the Tyler Collection

Begun in 1960, the Tyler Collection includes paintings, works on paper, sculptures, icons, and ceramics. Most were created in the 20th century by artists from Europe, Australia, and the US. However, the main focus of the collection is on Romanian artworks, collected when Geoffrey Tyler frequently visited that country from 1973-1987 while working for the International Monetary Fund. Predominant in the Collection is Romanian artist Corneliu Petrescu, who became a close friend and introduced Geoffrey to his circle of artist peers. Petrescu guided Geoffrey in choosing quality and representative works for his growing collection.

The Tyler Collection is an extraordinary testament to the vision of a collector who captured the tension of immense cultural and political change in Communist Romania. It represents a fascinating time capsule which has taken a serendipitous journey from Bucharest to Hobart via the collector’s home in Washington DC. Coming from a time and place unambiguously remote from its new home, it now has a fresh life within the University of Tasmania Fine Art Collection, where we are realising the collection’s value in a new institutional context.

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Comments by Professor Daryl Le Grew, University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor & President, November 2010

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The Petrescus on holiday in the US with the Tylers, mid-1970s

The University of Tasmania and The Tyler Collection

The University of Tasmania (UTAS), as the fourth oldest university in Australia, has a commitment to contribute to the cultural, economic and social development of Tasmania, and is an internationally focussed institution.  We celebrate our island, its geography, its sense of history and its distinctiveness through all our disciplines, but none more so than fine art.  We proudly display our art in staff offices, as well as in student and public spaces.  Our campus galleries exhibit programs spanning all genres, and include artists not only from Tasmania but from all corners of the world.

We have been fortunate over the years to be able to add to our already substantial Fine Art Collection through donations, as well as through planned acquisitions.  The gift of the Tyler Collection brings an international perspective and an unusual richness to our collection and thus the whole State.  We will be challenged and inspired by the breadth of the works being gifted by Geoffrey and Frances Tyler.  The pieces in this first exhibition will give a glimpse into the significance of the collection and the wonderful experience that lies ahead.

It is with great humility that we introduce the Tyler Collection as a wonderful gesture from one of our graduates, and we look forward to the ongoing enjoyment of this very personal gift.

The University of Tasmania Fine Art Collection

The University Fine Art Collection holds over 2400 works of contemporary and historic art. The works are in a wide range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, printmaking and digital imaging.  Acquisitions have been made since 1967 through a variety of funding sources, including State and Commonwealth funding, University funding, the Cultural Gifts Program and individual bequests and donations.

The collection includes works by fine Tasmanian and overseas artists, many of whom studied at the Tasmanian School of Art. It is a rich educational and cultural resource for the Tasmanian community and the students and staff at the University.