Life On The Job

Caroline Field - Art Curator @Australian Catholic University

Caroline Field
ACU Curator Caroline Field with Jon Cattapan oil canvas 'Transported Group No.1' at the Melbourne Campus


ACU has appointed Caroline Field as its first curator.In the newly-created role, Caroline will be responsible for managing the University’s extensive art collection and documenting, developing and displaying the collection across each of its seven campuses.

“The University is very fortunate to be holding such magnificent treasures and artworks,” Caroline said.“We want to celebrate them and we want to share and promote them with the University community and the general public.”

Previously the Curator and Manager of the Deakin University art collection, Caroline is a well-known figure in the Australian art community. She has curated more than 20 major exhibitions and is currently writing a book on the history of the Australian Galleries, for which she has been awarded a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Craven said that he was delighted the University had been able to appoint a curator of Caroline’s experience and insight.“It is one of the historic missions of a Catholic university to conserve and share art, and we are very much look forward to Caroline guiding us in this work.”

Caroline’s initial task as curator involves identifying, photographing and cataloguing each item in the current collection.“I’ll be visiting each of our campuses multiple times and walking into room after room, lecture theatres, foyers, offices and administration areas and sighting every single area across the campuses in order to locate and record all of the artworks,” Caroline explained.

Caroline said while she couldn’t put a number on the amount of items in ACU’s collection at this point, the artworks covered a broad range of styles and mediums.“Once I’ve catalogued all of the items I’ll then be able to categorise them into sub-groups such as religious art, sacred art, indigenous art, historical art, contemporary art, decorative art, sculpture, paintings and works on paper,” Caroline said.

While she is just beginning to discover the ACU collection, Caroline said her favourite item so far was a painting by Taddeo di Bartolo called The Virgin Annunciate, which currently hangs in the St Mary of the Cross Chapel at the Melbourne Campus. Painted in the late 14th or early 15th century, the tempera on panel painting features gold ground.“It’s an absolute jewel of an item and we’re very proud to have it in the collection,” Caroline said.

Did You Know?

Taddeo di Bartolo self portrait
Taddeo Di Bartolo (Siena c. 1362/3- 26 August 1422) ,
Self Portrait
(Source: Wikipedia)

Taddeo Bartoli, was an Italian painter of the Sienese School during the early Renaissance.

He painted "The Virgin Annunciate" in 1401. ACU acquired it in 2012.

Virgin Annunciate

"The Virgin Annunciate" currently hangs in the St Mary of the Cross Chapel at the Melbourne Campus, ACU.
Painted in the late 14th or early 15th century, the tempera on panel painting features gold ground.
It’s an absolute jewel of an item and we’re very proud to have it in the collection,” Caroline said.

After all the items in the collection have been catalogued, Caroline’s next steps will be to determine where each artwork will be displayed in order to enhance the University’s aesthetic environment.“I’ll be looking at how we can best present the works across the campuses to ensure there is maximum benefit for everybody to enjoy the artworks,” Caroline said.“My hope and my goal is to make each and every campus a gallery within its own right for all of the artworks to be presented in.” (Source: ACU)


Caroline has obtained:

  •  a Master of Arts in Art History at the University of Melbourne

  • a Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Melbourne,

  • a Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies, Deakin University,

  • a Graduate Diploma in Fine Art Printmaking and

  • a Bachelor of Arts in Painting at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Her previously held positions include Director of the Horsham Art Gallery and Teacher of Art at the Red Cliffs Secondary College, Victoria.

Caroline is currently a consultant art curator, and a Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria.

 In February 2015 she undertook a Writer’s Residency at the Bundanon Trust in New South Wales.
(Source: LinkedIn)

Bundanon painting
Caroline Field. Artwork in photo: Mary Tonkin, Merge, Kalorama, 2006
(Source: Bundanon Trust)


Experiences and Opportunities

Caroline Field has an extensive knowledge of Australian art, and is directly involved in its artistic assessment, documentation, valuation, and presentation.

As Manager/Curator of the Museum of Art, Deakin University (1991-2006), she was responsible for the selection, acquisition and exhibition of works by significant Australian artists. She became founding manager of the University’s two galleries: the Stonington Stables Museum of Art, Toorak campus and the ICON Museum of Art, Burwood campus, Melbourne.

Caroline commenced at Australian Galleries in 2006, and has since fulfilled many roles including Manager, Derby & Smith Street galleries and Gallery Biographer, working closely with artists and collectors. She has written numerous essays on Australian art, and recently has completed a publication about the history of Australian Galleries which is due to published in 2017.

Caroline’s reputation, and the success of her work in the promotion of Australian contemporary art is dependent upon the highest level of initiative and service to the visual arts sector. She specializes in collection management, exhibitions, commissioned projects, art museum policy and strategic development, research and writing. (Source: LinkedIn)



Bundanon Trust

Bundanon Trust
Australian Galleries


Australian Dictionary of Biography - contribution:

Staff Notice: 20 November 2017

ACU 20 November 2017


Our Digital Collection - Curating Our School's Art Work

PrimaryPrimary  MiddleMiddle High SchoolSecondary

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability


1. You are to start the curation of your school's art - digitally! This means that students, parents and the community will have a digital record of student work from year to year.  

To do this you are to divide up into groups of 4 - each with a separate job to do. Each group is to select one class from the school [you will need to work with your teacher and the other groups to select your class]:

a. photograph each piece of artwork from your particular allocated class

b. take a photograph of the artist - noting name and date

c. ask the artist what they were trying to achieve

d. create a database of the class' work - with the information above recorded.

e. use Mahara [free open source eportfolios] as a way of recording this portfolio of work.


f. select a piece of artwork, its story and artist that you like the most. Write up an article to be placed in the school's magazine or newsletter about this particular artwork.

g. at the end of the school year, conduct a Poll Everywhere to see which story and artwork is favoured by the community.

Poll Everywhere

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