Gay McDonald is a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Art & Design. Her research centres on the construction and uptake of international touring exhibitions of art, design and architecture from the Cold War to the present. She has a doctoral degree in art history, a graduate diploma in art museum management and a bachelor’s degree in art education. Prior to completing her post-graduate work, Gay worked as a curator within the NSW regional gallery network. After completing her doctoral studies in the US, McDonald was awarded a Smithsonian Institution post-doctoral fellowship for her research on the French involvement in the launching of American art in France during the Cold War.
McDonald is currently collaborating on a number of projects: She is developing a monographic study called Offshore Encounters: International art exchange through an Australian lens with Dr. Laura Fisher (University of Sydney). This research project, supported by an Australia Council ‘new work’ grant, will comprise a series of focused studies of the way in which art produced in Australia has been exhibited overseas, bringing into relief the different approaches adopted by curators and other cultural brokers in cross-cultural settings. She is also working with art museum professionals and academics from the MCA, UNSWAD and the University of Sydney on a collaborative research initiative that investigates ways to work with artists in the development of projects that probe the intersection of art making, knowledge-production and learning.