Australian Art, historical and contemporary
Australian Indigenous Art
European Modernism

Contemporary South East Asian Art
South East Asia is one of the world’s fastest growing areas in terms of the development of the region’s art scene. John will begin providing services on South East Asian art in late 2016, with a focus on Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Services will include client education, planning collections, locating and purchasing artworks and arranging transport to Australia. John will also be attending key regional art fairs and welcomes clients to attend fairs with him. If you are interested in receiving a prospectus for John’s South East Asian services, please email

What are you trying to achieve with your collection?
The most important decisions that shape any art collection are often made before the first artwork is purchased. Deciding on an area in which to collect and the aims of the collection are crucial in developing good collections. Client education can involve reading, formal classes, gallery and museum visits and a lot of discussion. It can take six to 12 months – during this period we encourage collectors not to begin buying.

Art collecting is more than shopping.
Once a direction has been set, building the collection involves careful decisions about which artists and which artworks to buy. It is important that works in the collection sit together well, present a reasonably coherent impression and take the viewer on an unfolding journey that hopefully includes surprise, humour, insights and revelations. While it might sound pretentious, curating is just as important in a private collection as it is in a museum. All that differs are the parameters. In a museum an objective approach is paramount. In a private collector it is the passion and idiosyncracy of the collector, and what they are trying to achieve with their collection.

Since their establishment in the early 1990s, self managed super funds have been able to buy art and other collectables as an asset class. Recently this area has been the subject of much debate and the guidelines have been changed. Please consult your financial advisor if you are considering buying art for your super fund. If you do decide to buy in this way, John can provide tailored advice with the aim of maximising returns in the given timeframe, along with the necessary paperwork.

Most companies insuring art require that artworks are revalued every two years. As an approved valuer under the Cultural Gifts Program, John’s valuations are accepted by all insurance companies. He can also carry out appraisals of existing collections to suggest areas of strength and areas in which culling can take place. For most clients, John conducts a annual appraisal at the same time as their collection is revalued.

Culling a collection and “trading up” to better quality works are important in the development of outstanding collections. John can advise on and if necessary supervise both the culling process and the disposal of artworks, whether by sale privately or at auction, or donation under the Cultural Gifts Program. John has arranged and helped manage successful auctions of material from his clients’ collections, including the sale of part of the collection of Reg Grundy AO OBE and Joy Chambers-Grundy, sold by Bonhams in June 2013.

John has lectured on art and collecting for state, regional and university art galleries. He has also spoken at openings, events, collection viewings and so on. He can write for collection publications and websites, and prepare collector/collection profiles for publication in magazines.

Flying art tours are the best way to see new Aboriginal art and the locations in which it is produced. John has lead many such trips and can arrange individual tours for groups of collectors to Central Australia, the Kimberley, Arnhem Land and far north Queensland. John also regularly offers client tours and walk-throughs of major art events such as Sydney Contemporary and the Melbourne Art Fair.

Aboriginal Art Centres Flying Trip 19-24 June 2016:
Beginning with art centres in Alice Springs, the five day tour focused on the remote APY Lands of the central and western desert. We visited art centres including Mimili Maku, Ernabella, Tjarlirli, Warburton and the Spinifex Arts Project. The trip was organised by Julienne Penny of Tunbridge Gallery in Perth with John Cruthers as expert guide.

Click here for APY Lands Art Flying Trip Report