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30 years of the Sternberg Collection

More than 50 significant Asian works will be on display

Hongzhi 1488-1505/Ming dynasty 1368-1644 Jingdezhen/Jiangxi Province/China, Jingdezhen ware, Dish with gardenia spray design, porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze yellow decoration, 5 × 26.7 cm, Art Gallery of NSW Edward and Goldie Sternberg Chinese Art Purchase Fund 1989. CUI Zifan, Ducks and bamboo, 20th century, hanging scroll; ink and colour on paper, 60 × 60 cm, Art Gallery of NSW, Gift of Goldie Sternberg 1984 © Estate of Cui Zifan

To mark the 30-year anniversary since the first artworks collector and philanthropist Goldie Sternberg donated to the Gallery, a new exhibition, The connoisseur and the philanthropist: 30 years of the Sternberg collection will showcase exquisite ceramics, stone and bronze sculptures, textiles and paintings, acquired through the generosity of benefactors Edward and Goldie Sternberg, their family and friends.

After falling in love with Chinese art in the 1950s, Goldie Sternberg started donating works to the Art Gallery of NSW in the 1980s. In 1989, her husband, Edward Sternberg, proposed providing funds for the Gallery to invest, with the income used to buy Chinese art.

Goldie once declared that she loved everything Chinese and above all the arts. She said, This passion began when I was quite young… I loved it for its grace and beauty.

She described her philanthropy as a source of great pleasure, as it is a way to share her interest by making Chinese art more accessible to the public, through exhibitions, acquisitions and education.

Since the late 1980s, more than 30 artworks have been either gifted to the Gallery by the Sternbergs and friends or purchased with the Edward and Goldie Sternberg Chinese Art Purchase Fund, all of which will be on display along with a dozen of the south east Asian art works purchased by a fund set up by the Sternbergs to purchase works from this area.

Curator of Chinese art Cao Yin said, Even though I did not have the honour of meeting Goldie and Edward Sternberg I have discovered through my own reading about them, and from conversations with people who knew the couple well, that Goldie particularly had a scholarly discipline and had done tremendous study. It seemed she always took meticulous notes after attending lectures and seminars on Chinese art. She had a wonderful knowledge and the Gallery is pleased to be honouring Goldie and her husband Edward by displaying this wonderful collection.

The works cover a wide range of artistic styles from the 1st century (Han Dynasty, 206 BCE -220 CE) to modern times.

On view
31 Jan – 27 Apr 2014
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney


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Susanne Briggs
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