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"I truly believe art matters"

Brisbane arts philanthropist, Philip Bacon AM, wins national honour

Brisbane art gallery owner and philanthropist Philip Bacon AM won a national leadership award at the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) Awards, presented at the City Hall, Brisbane on the evening of Thursday 15 October. The AbaF Awards were presented before an audience of 700 business and arts leaders, including Minister for the Arts Peter Garrett.

Mr Bacon won the Goldman Sachs JBWere Philanthropy Leadership Award, presented annually to a leader who has encouraged increased giving to Australian cultural life.

Mr Bacon is the owner of Philip Bacon Galleries in Fortitude Valley. He has been an influential supporter of the arts for more than 30 years, and his personal donations have assisted many organisations.

From the funds Philip donated to the Queensland Art Gallery in 2008, the gallery has acquired its first Eugene Von Guerard, A view from Daylesford towards the Pyrenees and a few weeks ago George Lambert’s Self Portrait with Ambrose Patterson, Amy Lambert and Hugh Ramsay, c1901-03.

Major gifts of works of art to the QAG’s collection include Sir Matthew Smith’s 1920s painting ‘Tulips’, valued at $150,000, gifted this year, and the major 1966 Brett Whiteley ‘Calcutta’,  valued at $500,000.

His major sponsorships of recent performing arts productions include:
· For Brisbane Powerhouse, Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan in 2008; and Gatz presented by the New York Elevator Repair Service in 2009.
· For the Queensland Theatre Company the current production of The Crucible.
· For the Brisbane Writers Festival he brought to Brisbane Simon Winchester in 2008 and Wayson Choy in 2009.
· For Opera Queensland this year, the prima donna Emma Matthews in Rigoletto.
· For the Brisbane Festival this year, The Actor’s Gang’s production of The Catonsville Nine.
· He made a substantial contribution ($250,000) for the William Robinson gallery at Old Government House project for QUT in 2006.

Mr Bacon’s  response to winning the Philanthropy Leadership Award is: “My entire life has been in the arts. I truly believe art matters, and I am privileged that I can help in ways both big and small to encourage and develop the companies and the people that make it happen.”

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