The Curtin University Art Collection, curated and managed by the John Curtin Gallery is one of Western Australia’s major public collections.

The Curtin University Art Collection was established in 1968 with the intention of enhancing both the appearance and educational life of what was then the Western Australian Institute of Technology. It now includes over 3200 objects, including The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork and more than 36 public artworks across Curtin Campuses.

Since its inception, the Collection has developed a strong contemporary character by acquiring art that celebrates, challenges and critiques our understanding of Australian culture. There’s a prominent focus on Indigenous art and contemporary art from around the Indian Ocean region. Over recent decades there has also been a strong interest in works that contribute to, or are relevant to, important community dialogues across a range of social, environmental, political and humanitarian issues. The collection continues to grow each year, integrating art into everyday experiences while fostering and promoting local art practice.

In addition to the display of Collection works around campus, the John Curtin Gallery periodically curates Collection exhibitions. These provide an opportunity to discover and reveal some of the fascinating stories held by the Collection, and to exhibit objects not suitable for display in other campus spaces.

In 2024, The John Curtin Gallery will be making parts of the collection accessible via the John Curtin Gallery website for research and educational purposes. For enquiries regarding the Curtin University Art Collection, please contact our Collections team at

Some recent collection shows include:

Little Treasures 3/11/23 – 10/12/23
Co-curated by Duncan McKay and Paul Boyé, featuring primarily small objects from the Curtin University Art Collection that explore and interrogate the concept of treasure. Crafted from materials made precious by the hands of artists, these art objects prompt us to question contemporary notions of wealth, value, and the things we’re willing to do or accept to possess treasures of various kinds.

Recent Acquisitions 07/10/22 – 04/12/22

Showcasing artworks acquired in 2021 and 2022 (following the success of the 50fifty Acquisition Initiative 2017 – 2020), including purchases and donations from leading contemporary artists such as James Angus, Brent Harris, Joan Ross, Christian Thompson and Aida Tomescu. The selection featured Curtin Fine Art graduates and significant First Nations artists, with a major work from Spinifex Women’s Collaborative.

SOFT/HARD radical love by R.Goo 03/06/22 – 28/08/22
A response to ‘Queering the Gallery,’ through the unique perspective of the late multidisciplinary trans artist, Bec O’Neil, who worked under the pseudonym ‘R. Goo’. Almost 40 works created over a period of 50 years (covering a diverse range of media and approaches) that, together, present Bec’s vision of acceptance of ourselves and others in whatever shape or form we take.

The Collection is not just a significant University asset, but also a resource for staff, students and the wider community.