Benefactor brings rare gift of art

DOUGLAS Kagi not only has an eye for art but he also has the heart for it as well.

This generous Melbourne-based art collector and scientist has dug deep and given the Rockhampton Art Gallery its biggest and most important donation ever.

New works valued at more than $200,000 are now owned by the gallery and will hang on its walls.

From significant figures in 20th century art such as Henry Moore, Victor Passmore and Graham Sutherland to 1960s artists such as Peter Blake, Eduardo Paolozzi and Patrick Caulfield, this collection of 157 contemporary British prints is first-rate.

Dr Kagi this week visited the gallery to see his collection, aptly titled The Kagi Gift, beautifully presented across two rooms.

He said he chose Rockhampton as beneficiary because he wanted to give his prized pieces to a smaller gallery that would appreciate them to the full extent.

“I've got a lot of art and it's good to work with a gallery that appreciates it,” he said.

“I'd rather give it to a smaller place and the people here appreciate it.”

Dr Kagi first visited Rockhampton in August last year to launch a Sidney Nolan exhibition and speak about his collecting experiences.

“When I was here for the Sidney Nolan show I could tell Rockhampton was pleased to be considered,” he said.

Only 39 works, dating between 1968 to 2007, are now on show owing to lack of room.

But a Rockhampton Regional Council spokeswoman said this would give the gallery the opportunity to showcase a number of different exhibitions and add to the collection itself.

The spokeswoman said Dr Kagi's gift was very important for the gallery.

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