Buxton Contemporary – new gallery for Southbank Campus and community

Buxton Contemporary is Melbourne's newest contemporary art museum, and is supported by a significant philanthropic gift and endowment by Michael Buxton and family. The Buxton Collection, which is housed in the new gallery, consists of 300 works by significant Australian contemporary artists including VCA alumni. Designed by Fender Katsalidis, a feature of the building is the largest digital screen of its type in Australia, which is used to showcase digital and screen-based works.

Buxton Contemporary
Kate Mitchell, In Time, 2015. Buxton Contemporary, Southbank. By James Geer Photography.

Passionate art collector Michael Buxton has donated his private contemporary Australian art collection to the University of Melbourne, which is now housed at Buxton Contemporary, a new purpose-built museum on the Southbank campus.

Opened in March 2018 by Michael Buxton, Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis, and Martin Foley MP, Buxton Contemporary was designed by Fender Katsalidis and is located on the corner of Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street.

The Michael Buxton Collection features more than 300 works by 53 of the country’s most significant Australian artists, including Howard Arkley, Ricky Swallow, Tracey Moffat, Emily Floyd and Bill Henson.

The donation of the collection, as well as funds towards the construction and endowment of the museum, is also the biggest donation for Believe – the Campaign of the University of Melbourne.

Passionate art collector Michael Buxton has said he and his family had always dreamt the Buxton Collection would serve as an educational resource to help foster an appreciation for contemporary Australian art:

By donating this magnificent collection to the University of Melbourne we are ensuring its longevity as a dynamic collection which will evolve and grow, educating future generations of students and serving as a resource for all Australians aspiring to understand or collect challenging contemporary art.

Professor Glyn Davis, Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, recognises the significant contribution the new Buxton Centre will make to the cultural life of Melbourne:

Thanks to a wonderful partnership with Michael Buxton, this University will give the people of Melbourne unprecedented access to Australia’s finest contemporary art. We believe the impact of this gift will be profound, enhancing the Southbank precinct’s position as the heart of Melbourne’s cultural life.

Feedback and Consultation

The Southbank Campus Redevelopment program has been undertaken in close collaboration with the Victorian State Government, our philanthropic partners, the University of Melbourne, Faculty staff and students, and our Southbank neighbours.

To discuss the project, ask questions or give feedback please contact our project team at southbank-redevelopment@unimelb.edu.au.

Principal partners


  • Fender Katsalidis

Principal Partners

  • Michael Buxton and family
  • University of Melbourne


  • Gallery space for the Buxton Collection of more than 300 contemporary Australian artworks
  • Digital art screen – one of the largest in Australian


  • The purpose-built gallery within the Southbank Campus of the University will give students, researchers, and the general public access to the Buxton Collection’s 300-plus artworks by eminent Australian contemporary artists.


  • Part of a significant donation of the Buxton Collection and endowment.


  • Construction commenced 2016
  • Completion early 2018