The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn Gift

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn gift enables people from all around Australia to discover and handle works of art. Made possible by Jim Wolfensohn, the Australian-born former president of the World Bank, the gift comprises three art-filled suitcases and The 1888 Melbourne Cup, touring to schools, libraries, community centres, regional galleries and nursing homes. The idea of the suitcase kits is to give to people a chance to handle and appreciate original works of art by contemporary artists as well as works from other cultures and periods. 


Jim Wolfensohn's passion for art stems from early experiences of handling beautiful objects and he recognises the impulse to touch is part of experiencing the full measure of an object. In 1988 the Wolfensohns generously donated funds to enable the National Gallery of Australia to buy museum quality works of art for the enjoyment of children and adults living in regional and remote areas. In this unique program, a wide range of audiences, including those with special needs, are able to experience the works in a powerful and intimate way.


The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn gift has been enjoyed by thousands of people in remote, regional and metropolitan centres throughout Australia. It is a program that is at the heart of the Gallery's Access Services program. This opportunity to provide the community, in particular children, with a way of interacting with specifically selected works of art is a unique one afforded by the generosity of the Wolfensohns.









For bookings and further information contact 

National Gallery of Australia Travelling Exhibitions
GPO Box 1150
Canberra ACT 2601
email or
phone +61 2 6240 6650
fax +61 2 6240 6413