LAI is custodian of the LTU Cultural Collections, comprising: The La Trobe University Art Collection (including the Bundoora Campus Sculpture Park and the Etta Hirsh Ceramics collection), The Ethnographic Collection, The Trendall Collection, The Stewart E. Fraser Poster Collection, The F.M. Courtis Collection (Bendigo) and The Geoff Raby Collection of Chinese Art.
Collecting at La Trobe began in 1958 when F.M Courtis , Head of the Bendigo Teachers College (now part of La Trobe University) established a teaching collection of Australian Art. These 350 artworks are housed and displayed primarily in the Education Building of the University’s Bendigo campus. An important resource for Bendigo, it provides the opportunity for students to have close and continued contact with quality artworks, thus creating an enriched environment for their learning and broader personal development.
The La Trobe University Art Collection began in 1966, before construction of the first buildings commenced at the site of the University’s major campus at Bundoora. Recognising the importance of an art collection within an educational environment, the University’s Master Architect, Dr Roy Simpson, AO, incorporated the installation and display of art works into his overall vision for La Trobe. Today the La Trobe University Art Collection is considered a major public art collection, comprising over 2,400 post war and contemporary Australian art works. The collection covers most media and periods of Australian art. It includes the largest holding of works by the Australian Surrealist Bernard Boles, expatriate artist Allen David and the Etta Hirsh Ceramics Collection which consists of over 300 pieces.
The Ethnographic Collection comprises mainly of gifts from generous donors of artefacts and paintings collected from Papua New Guinea and Australia, plus items collected on field trips by academics.
The Trendall Collection of Antiquities includes fine examples of complete vessels, fragments and objects reflective of Professor Trendall’s research interests.
The Stewart E. Fraser Poster Collection is one of the largest of its kind. It contains close to 3,000 posters, predominately from China, as well as examples from Russia and Vietnam.
The Larundel Collection, features more than 1400 artworks created by the patients of the Larundel Psychiatric Hospital during the period 1987-1997, comprised predominantly of works on paper (along with a small number of paintings, and collaborative works created on bedsheets).
The Geoff Raby Collection of Chinese Art highlights works by more than seventy artists, including Ah Xian, An Kun, Chen Man, Chen Wenling, Feng Ling, Gonkar Gyatso, Guan Wei, Guo Jian, Laurens Tan, Li Jin, Liu Zhuoquan, Luo Brothers, Shen Jaiwei, Shen Shaomin, Shi Jianmin, Tan Yifeng, Wang Yawei, Wang Zhiyuan, Wei Ping, Xiao Lu, Xu Zhongmin, Yang Qian, and Zhao Gang.