The super fund auctioning its $9 million art collection


Cbus is auctioning its art collection, estimated to be worth about $9 million.

The Cbus Collection of Important Australian Art features more than 280 works dating from the colonial era through to contemporary pieces. Artists in the collection include Russell Drysdale, John Olsen, Arthur Streeton and indigenous artists like Anatjari Tjakamarra and Pansy Napangardi.

In a statement, Cbus deputy chief investment officer Brett Chatfield said: "As part of the ongoing active management of the portfolio, Cbus acquires and disposes of assets with a focus on maximising risk-adjusted returns for our members."

cbus super selling million dollar art collection

"To get the best outcomes for our members we are now offering the collection for sale."

The collection, which has been managed by Latrobe Regional Gallery for the past 15 years, was established in 1992 with the help of art world figures Joseph Brown and Bernard Smith.

"Cbus is pleased to be able to offer this impressive collection for sale and is grateful to the Latrobe Regional Gallery for its careful stewardship of the Collection, and its commitment to maintaining and promoting this Collection to many regional galleries," says Cbus chief investment officer Kristian Fok.

cbus art collection russell drysdale the fossicker
Russell Drysdale's The Fossicker, to be auctioned by Cbus, is valued at up to $400,000. 

It will be sold by Deutscher + Hackett across three separate auctions, with the first scheduled for July 27.

"With each work having passed the commercial and academic scrutiny of Dr Joseph Brown to enter the collection, the Cbus auction series will provide collectors with exciting acquisition opportunities," says Deutscher + Hackett executive director Damian Hackett.

"We are also excited to be offering the collection using an innovative combination of live and timed-online auctions, taking full advantage of the enormous market reach of the digital platform."

Deutscher + Hackett is also involved in NAB's sale of its corporate art collection. When announced in February, NAB's collection was valued at about $10 million and features about 2500 works.

Specific pieces to be sold by Cbus include Russell Drysdale's The Fossicker which is valued at up to $400,000 and Margaret Preston's Coastal Gums which has an estimated price tag of between $180,000 and $240,000.

This article first appeared on Financial Standard

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Jamie Williamson is editor of Financial Standard. Prior to this she was a senior journalist, covering wealth management including financial advice, superannuation and life insurance. Before turning to journalism, she worked in public relations, specialising in financial services. She has a Bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Newcastle.