NGV to Build Dedicated Japanese Gallery

Sponsored by a generous donation from Mrs Pauline Gandel, collector extraordinaire of Japanese lacquer, and matched by State Government funds, the NGV is to have its first ever gallery dedicated to Japanese art…in fact, we think it might well be the first ever such gallery in an Australian art institution. To open August 2012, this reflects the strong interest in the community in Japanese art and culture, something Lesley Kehoe Galleries is always trying to contribute to, and adds to the gradually increasing profile of Asian art at the Melbourne institution.

Nothing Fishy about new NGV Japanese gallery
Gabriella Coslovich
September 22, 2011

ON A visit to Kyoto in the late 1980s, Pauline Gandel, Melbourne philanthropist and art collector, was invited to dinner by her antique dealer, Fukumara san, a Buddhist priest.

A whole deep-fried fish was served as part of the evening’s feast, and, as a mark of honour, Fukumara san picked out the fish’s eyes and presented the delicacy to his guest. Don’t ask Mrs Gandel what type of fish it was – all she can remember are those eyes staring at her.

She politely turned them down. ”I explained that I couldn’t eat them,” she says. ”Sometimes it’s better to tell the truth.”
The incident failed to dent her passion for Japanese culture and art, a passion she is sharing with the public. Mrs Gandel has donated $1 million to the National Gallery of Victoria for the creation of a dedicated Japanese gallery. Her donation will be matched by $750,000 from the state government, as well as $250,000 raised by the NGV…

Full Article: The Age Newspaper