Sandra Bruce appointed as new Director of Collections and Exhibitions

Arts Centre Melbourne has appointed Sandra Bruce as its new Director, Collections and Exhibitions. With a wealth of experience across art and social history museums, public galleries and the university sector, she will lead the evolution of Arts Centre Melbourne’s acclaimed and unique Australian Performing Arts Collection (APAC) and the charge for a permanent gallery. She begins her position at Arts Centre Melbourne today.

Bruce comes to Arts Centre Melbourne from the National Portrait Gallery where she was Collections and Exhibitions Director. She has held senior positions at the National Sports Museum, Bendigo Art Gallery and La Trobe University in a distinguished career.

Arts Centre Melbourne Chief Executive Officer Karen Quinlan AM:

I congratulate Sandra on her appointment, where she will be leading Australia’s unique performing arts collection, with close to 800,000 objects, amplifying its cultural importance and taking it out of storage and to the people of Victoria and beyond.

Sandra has outstanding skills and experience across strategy, operations, curation, content delivery, collection management and development, and will be a wonderful addition to our team at a time of awakening the Collection in readiness for a permanent museum of the performing arts in the Melbourne Arts Precinct.

Prior to her role at the National Portrait Gallery, Bruce worked as Assistant and Acting Director at the La Trobe Art Institute and Assistant Collections Manager at Bendigo Art Gallery.

Sandra Bruce:

I am incredibly excited to be joining Arts Centre Melbourne, and at such a time of reinvigoration and potential for the next chapter of its history. Working with a remarkable team to celebrate the significance of performing arts in Australia through Arts Centre Melbourne’s extraordinary collections is a true privilege.

Arts Centre Melbourne is the proud custodian of the Australian Performing Arts Collection, which is dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of Australia’s circus, dance, music, opera and theatre heritage.

Collecting began in the late 1970s and two early major acquisitions were the J.C. Williamson Theatre Archive and the Dame Nellie Melba Collection. Today, the collection holds close to 800,000 objects including major acquisitions from Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave, Barry Humphries, Bell Shakespeare and The Australian Ballet.

In addition to exhibitions, displays and a searchable online catalogue, the Australian Performing Arts Collection is accessible through a dedicated Research Centre.

3 thoughts on “Sandra Bruce appointed as new Director of Collections and Exhibitions

  • Congratulations on your appointment Sandra. I was in contact with one of the curators (unfortunately I can’t find the email correspondence) as I have a number of my Australian production models and costume designs for theatre, dance and ballet which I am seeking a home for. I am going to be in Melbourne 27th September – 3rd October and would be grateful for the opportunity to meet.

  • Congratulations Sandra, Fantastic news.

  • Congrats Sandy, ever onwards and upwards, Clive Cooke


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