Elizabeth Ann Macgregor

Director of Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Appearing at Semi Permanent Sydney 2017

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor began her career as curator/driver of the Scottish Arts Council's Travelling Gallery. Taking exhibitions on board a converted bus to remote areas and inner city estates ignited her commitment to engaging new audiences with the work of living artists.

After four years at the Arts Council, in 1989 she was appointed the director of Ikon Gallery, Birmingham where she was responsible for a program focusing on issue-based work by artists from culturally diverse backgrounds.  She relocated the gallery to award winning new premises which opened in 1998. 

In 1999, she took up the directorship of Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art when it was facing significant challenges. To secure its future, she negotiated a new funding model with government, sponsors and philanthropists. Committed to supporting artists and expanding the audience for art, she has initiated a unique program of partnerships in Western Sydney through the C3West project and with regional and interstate galleries through touring projects.  She successfully negotiated a $53m building redevelopment completed in 2012 which includes a National Centre for Creative Learning, connecting artists with audiences across Australia and around the world. Last year, the Museum attracted over 1.2m visitors. 

Macgregor’s innovation and contribution to the arts have been recognised with a Centenary Medal in 2003, the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in 2008 and the Australia Business Arts Foundation Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Arts Business Leadership Award in 2008. In 2011 she received an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honour list and the Australia Council Visual Arts Medal. In 2016 she was named NSW  Creatve Laureate and one of Australia’s True Leaders by the AFR Magazine.

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