After an extraordinary eighteen months, New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) is thrilled to announce that The Yellow Room Appeal has reached its target early. The Yellow Room Appeal Committee has successfully raised the required funds to purchase the Margaret Olley’s The Yellow Room Triptych. The Howard Hinton Collection has received its newest acquisition.
The idea for an appeal to raise funds for the painting was presented to the NERAM Board by members of the Packsaddle Fundraisers, a well-known group who host annual fundraising exhibitions at the museum.
A special Yellow Room Appeal Committee was set up to lead the project under the able guidance of Mr Sam Beasley, who led an extensive appeal to individual donors and worked closely with various fundraising groups associated with NERAM. A number of very generous donors provided significant funds over the life of the appeal. The majority of these came from the Armidale community, with additional support from former residents and visitors to NERAM from many parts of Australia.
The Friends of NERAM developed innovative projects that meant members of the wider community could also get involved. Along with the generous owners of ‘Chevy Chase’ and ‘Wanderriby’, the Friends hosted two very popular open gardens. They also developed a ‘jigsaw puzzle’ project, where a small replica of Olley’s work was cut into jigsaw-shaped pieces that buyers could have framed or made into brooches. In June, a special ‘Ode to Olley’ fundraising dinner was held at the museum, which presented an evening of tribute in honour of Olley. The event was supported by many of Olley’s friends who made tributes, and attended by friends, family and many local artists who donated artworks in her honour.
Olley’s trustees and her art dealer, Philip Bacon, of Philip Bacon Galleries in Queensland, have also gone out of their way to support the Appeal. It was Olley’s desire that her work would enter a public collection to be enjoyed by many. The work, which is widely regarded as Olley’s ‘magnum opus’, will now join the many spectacular works in NERAM’s Hinton Collection. The Yellow Room (Triptych) will be on display at NERAM until 2 February 2014 in the exhibition Splash! There will be a formal celebration to mark the acquisition in the new year.