Since 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has delivered 21 exhibitions and presented the work of 1,800 artists from 100 countries around the globe.
It was the first periodic exhibition to focus on Asia and the contemporary art of the region (1973 and 1976); the first to exhibit the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists in an international contemporary art context (1979), and the first biennale to present an online venue (2008). The Biennale of Sydney Archive project began in 2015 when over 40 years of records were donated to the National Art Archive at the Art Gallery of NSW to be organized, indexed and digitized. The Gallery and the Biennale are working in partnership on this historic project. More than 1000 boxes make up the archive, which includes artists’ files, images, correspondence, media clippings and photographic and video documentation that stretches back to the inaugural Biennale exhibition in 1973.
Locating the Biennale Archive at the Gallery ensures that it will be available to future researchers with elements accessible to the public through both the Gallery and Biennale websites.
Professional archiving has been made possible by a generous gift from Transfield Holdings, the Biennale’s principal corporate partner for over 40 years. We celebrate the vision of Franco Belgiorno-Nettis (1915–2006), Founding Patron and founder of Transfield, who created the Biennale of Sydney in 1973 and whose company provided the continuous financial and administrative support that firmly established it.