National Gallery of Australia Canberra: Great Art on View

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Housing Australia’s premier art treasury, the national collection boasts in excess of 155,000 art pieces, highlighted by the globe’s most extensive array of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

This eminent collection encapsulates the entirety of Australian artistry, alongside significant modern artworks from across the globe, with a strong focus on European and American pieces. Additionally, it encompasses a diverse range of art from Asia and the Pacific.

Among its works are exemplary pieces of French Impressionism, Dada and Surrealism, the Russian avant-garde, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art, marking it as a repository of some of the most distinguished art in Australia.

But the art isn’t just confined to the indoors. The Sculpture Garden is an essential part of the National Art Gallery experience. It’s a unique space where you can immerse yourself in stunning outdoor artworks set against a naturally beautiful backdrop.

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The outdoor Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Australia

The Gallery ensures a safe, inclusive, and welcoming experience for everyone. This commitment is reflected in their offerings, such as guided tours, audio guides, and full wheelchair accessibility, ensuring everyone can enjoy the wealth of art on display.

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Global art with an emphasis on Australia and the Pacific regions

Location and Opening

The National Gallery of Australia is located at Parkes Place East, Parkes ACT 2600, Australia. It is situated on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory.

THE National Gallery of Australia is open from 10am to 5pm every day, except for Christmas Day. So you can visit the gallery any day of the week between those hours to explore the art and exhibitions it has to offer. Admission to the Gallery, including the Sculpture Garden planted with native flora and James Turrell’s Skyspace, is free and accessible. It is recommended that you book tickets online to save time on arrival.

Curious for more details? Just pop over to the National Gallery of Australia’s official website

See article Australia’s Capital City: Never a Dull Moment in Canberra

Past Exhibitions

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra has hosted numerous significant exhibitions over the years, showcasing a wide array of art from Australia and around the world. Below are details of some notable past exhibitions, though please note this is not an exhaustive list:

The Know my Name Exhibition held at the National Art Gallery of Australia
  1. “Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond” (2009-2010)
    • This exhibition featured over 100 works from the Post-Impressionist period, borrowed from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. It included masterpieces by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and others, drawing large crowds and critical acclaim.
  2. “Gold and the Incas: Lost Worlds of Peru” (2013-2014)
    • This exhibition showcased the rich history and artistry of ancient Peruvian civilizations, featuring gold artifacts, ceramics, textiles, and sculpture. It offered insight into the skill and aesthetic of the Incan empire and pre-Columbian cultures.
  3. “Tom Roberts” (2015-2016)
    • A comprehensive exhibition dedicated to one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, Tom Roberts. The exhibition featured his iconic works that capture the essence of Australian life and landscapes at the turn of the 20th century.
  4. “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Rooms” (2018)
    • Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s immersive installations were featured in this exhibition, including her famous mirrored Infinity Rooms. The exhibition highlighted Kusama’s innovative exploration of space, form, and perception.
  5. “Monet: Impression Sunrise” (2019)
    • Centered around Claude Monet’s famous painting “Impression, Sunrise,” which gave Impressionism its name, this exhibition included works by Monet and other Impressionist artists. It explored the movement’s origins and its impact on the art world.
  6. “Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now” (2020-2021)
    • This exhibition aimed to address gender imbalance in the art world by focusing on the work of Australian women artists across various mediums and periods. It showcased a diverse range of art to celebrate and recognize the contributions of women artists in Australia.
  7. “Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London” (2021)
    • Featuring works from the National Gallery in London, this exhibition presented 60 paintings by Europe’s most revered artists, including Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Renoir, Cézanne, and Van Gogh. The highlight was Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers.”

Going Back Further

2010s Exhibitions:

Emerging Elders: Honouring senior Indigenous artists

Masterpieces from Paris: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond

Hans Heysen

In the Balance: Art for a Changing World

1990s Exhibitions:

After 200 Years: Photographs of Aboriginal and Islander Australia Today

The Edwardians: Secrets and Desires

The World of the Etruscans

These exhibitions are illustrative of the National Gallery of Australia’s commitment to bringing diverse and high-quality art experiences to the public, spanning historical periods, artistic movements, and cultures.

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