Several art collectors from as far away as New York have donated valuable works from their private collections to The National Gallery of Australia in support of the pandemic affected industry.
The gallery has acquired 20 new works valued at $8 million from both philanthropists and artists committed to the success of the sector, following a 50 per cent drop in visitor numbers in January due to bushfires and reduction in current capacity after weeks of closure due to coronavirus.
The gifts - including works by esteemed Aboriginal painter Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Canberran feminist Vivienne Binns, Italian artist Rudolf Stingel and South-Korean artist Haegue Yang - will all be added to the national collection in coming weeks.
National Gallery of Australia Director Nick Mitzevich said many of these works have been in private collections for decades, few of which weren't known to the gallery.
"Usually these relationships take many years to foster and we work with philanthropists over an extended period of time," Mr Mitzevich said.
He said the last few months more people than usual had come forward offering works which fit with the gallery's national mandate of remaining a globally relevant institution which spoke to the diversity of its audience.
"During COVID people want to contribute to culture and society in some way so we've seen an increase in generosity during this period," Mr Mitzevich said.
"Everyone acknowledges that as a community there are lots of challenges at this moment and those challenges will continue and we're really heartened that there's so many people want to contribute."
While some works are already on the wall, such as Mr Stingel's Untitled, a selection will be presented as part of the Know My Name exhibition, aimed at increasing the representation of women in the institution's artistic program.
In addition to the works from Binns, Stingel, Yang and Tjapaltjarri, art from Australian artists DI$COUNT UNIVER$E, Willy Gibson Tjungurrayi and Margaret Worth, as well as Russian collective AES+F and United Kingdom artists the Chapman Brothers have been donated.
Know My Name will open to the public from November 13.