Stephanie and Julian Grose
For Adelaide’s Stephanie and Julian Grose, collecting is a mere symptom of a much wider interest in artists, their stories and the manifestation of their art.
Stephanie and Julian Grose are proof that restraint is highly overrated. When I meet the Adelaide-based couple in their Woollahra apartment before they leave on a collecting trip to New York – where, as Stephanie puts it, they “step onto those pavements in the morning and don’t return until night” – their kinetic energy nearly reverses the effects of the drizzly Sydney day.
But Stephanie and Julian are equally intent on marrying passion with purpose. In the last 15 years, the pair – who recently donated their Indigenous art collection to the Flinders University Art Museum and who support institutions such as the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum
of Contemporary Art – have orchestrated an approach to collecting that’s as fixed on championing Australia at Frieze and Art Basel
as it is on forging individual connections with artists.
The first piece you collected was a Brett Whiteley lithograph. What drew you to art and why did you first start collecting?
Stephanie: Julian’s mother and her husband were collectors in Adelaide in the 1960s and 1970s and one of my grandmothers collected art. Although I went to art school, I needed some money, so I moved into advertising and my desire to be an artist disappeared. Eventually, when Julian and I got together, he travelled to the Northern Territory with his work and was visiting Aboriginal communities. One day, we were talking about how much we liked all this ... Subscribe to read this article in full
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