“Untitled #20” by Bill Henson. Courtesy MOPA

The Museum of Photographic Arts has established the Peter and Olivia Farrell Collection of Australian Photography with the acquisition of 24 photographs and 100 photo books.

The acquisition is part of a larger initiative to expand MOPA’s permanent collection to include Pacific Rim artists and elevate Australian photography to a wider global audience.

“This is an ambitious endeavor to better share the wonders of Australian photography with the public,” said MOPA Executive Director Deborah Klochko. “We want to showcase it, while learning more about the phenomenal work being done.”

Sydney photography collector and dealer Josef Lebovic donated the photo books and supported the Farrells, who are La Jolla residents, in their decision to donate their collection. In addition, the donation will establish a fund for purchases of contemporary Australian photography.

“As residents of San Diego, Olivia and I are delighted to be able to provide such excellent examples of both past and contemporary Australian photography,” said Farrell, who founded the medical device company ResMed. “We are sure MOPA visitors will delight in this collection.”

A range of artists are represented in the collection, from early 20th century icons such as Max Dupain, David Moore and Olive Cotton, to more recent work of internationally known photographers like Tracey Moffat and Bill Henson.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.