Donor stories

The Wong’s Collection


The Wongs’ Collection is one of the most significant donations of Chinese antiquities and artefacts given to a public institution in Australia in the past two decades. It is also one of the most important donations in the 150 year history of TMAG.

This private collection of Chinese ceramics and artifacts was generously donated by Professor Shiu Hon and Mrs Nancy Wong, who are residents of Perth, Western Australia. Professor and Mrs Wong have been avid collectors of Chinese artifacts for over 30 years. The Wongs’ chose Hobart for their collection because they love the state and have a special affinity with TMAG.

Donated in three phases – the first in 2003, and the second and third in 2004 – the collection comprises around 250 objects including ceramics, wood and stone carvings, furniture, metalwork and snuff bottles. The collection brings a substantial record of the history of the development of Chinese culture to Tasmanians for the first time and spans the Neolithic period, through the major Chinese dynasties to the 20th century.

The Wongs’ donation provides an ongoing opportunity for the Tasmanian community to see and experience first-hand objects representing the culture and history of one of the world’s greatest and oldest civilisations.

Bornemissza Beetle Collection


One of TMAG’s jewels is the Bornemissza Beetle Collection. 

Dr Bornemissa, a retired entomologist, has dedicated his life to the study and conservation of beetles. In 1998, TMAG received from Dr Bornemissa a generous collection of beetles (held in 24 drawers). Since then, TMAG has received several further significant donations from Dr Bornemissza and now holds over 70 drawers of beetles. Dr Bornemissza hopes the beetle collections he has donated to TMAG will enable the public to appreciate biodiversity and the need for habitat protection. In 2001, Dr Bornemissza was awarded an OAM for his key role in the introduction of Bovine Dung Beetles to Australia.

Hendrik Kolenberg


Hendrik Kolenberg was born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1946 and came to Australia with his family in 1952. He studied at the South Australian School of Art in Adelaide and was an Education Officer at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Hendrik was Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Gallery of Western Australia and Curator of Art at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Currently he is Senior Curator of Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Hendrik’s strong ties to Tasmania and his knowledge of the TMAG art collection have enabled him to present works which add a considerable strength and richness to TMAG’s holdings of Australian art. One of his earliest gifts was a rare and important early oil painting by Tasmanian artist Blanche Murphy.

Other gifts include work by Australian artists John Olsen, John Coburn, Judy Cassab, John Firth Smith, Geoffrey de Groen, Earle Backen, John Caldwell, Hector Gilliland and Roger Kemp. Hendrik has also presented work by artists with Tasmanian connections including Edith Holmes, Kevin Lincoln, Ewa Pachuka, Daniel Moynihan, Helen Mills and Anton Holzner, making their representation more distinctive through a broader selection of images and in a wide variety of media.

The individual and personal nature of two artist's books jointly produced by Hendrik Kolenberg and Kevin Lincoln are a unique gift that adds richly to TMAG’s collection of artist's books.