Articles by Teresa Zolnierkiewicz
Philanthropy’s Crystal Ball
When Alfred Felton was approaching death in 1904 he had recently completed the finishing touches to his unique and generous bequest. With the extraordinary size of the bequest and the enduring focus on purchasing artwork, in just over 100 years his gift would deliver $2.2 billion worth of art to the National Gallery of Victoria and a comparable amount of value to charities favouring women and children. In his own art-crammed rooms in the Esplanade Hotel St Kilda, Felton, who made his fortune initially on the Victorian goldfields, may well have mused about how his philanthropic gift would be received and what his bequest would achieve across the centuries, structured as it was for perpetuity.