National Gallery of Australia

The National Gallery of Australia is home to the nation's collection of art and has works drawn from every branch of the visual arts. The core of the collection is the Australia Collection which includes works by Roberts, Streeton, Condor, Boyd and Nolan. The International Collection parallels the Gallery's holdings of Australian art over the past two hundred years. It represents the major schools and movements in art from 1850 to the present. Other collections include Aboriginal Art comprising selections of traditional bark paintings through to contemporary works and Asian Art, including the Tsui Collection of Chinese Art.

Address: 
Parkes Place, Parkes, ACT
Tel: 
0262406502
Hours: 
10am-5pm daily (except christmas day)
Admission: 
Free (permanent collection), extra for special exhibitions
Facilities: 
Wheelchair access, shop, library, guided tours, education programs, lecture hall, restaurant
Collection: 
Approximately 100,000 items
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Items

Painting

Blue Poles

Creator:
Jackson Pollock
Description:
Enamel and aluminium paint with glass, 212cm x 489cm. Key work from abstract expressionist movement.
Date:
1952
Item Id Number:
74.264

The purchase of Blue poles by the NGA in September 1973 for US$2 million unleashed a storm of controversy in the press. Spontaneity, an idea inherent in modern art, reached a climax in Jackson Pollock's work of the late 1940s. Blue poles is an outstanding example of these 'drip paintings'.

Sculpture

Bird in Space

Creator:
Constantin Brancusi
Description:
Two works: white marble with limestone "collar" on sandstone base 184cm x 44cm overall (73.960); and black marble with white marble "collar" on sandstone base 193.3cm x 47.8cm overall (73.961).
Date:
circa 1931-1936
Item Id Number:
73.960-961

From a sawn sandstone base, a jet of polished marble soars: Constantin
Brancusi's Bird in space does not resemble external physical appearance, but the way our eyes feel and follow this form provokes a powerful feeling of effortless elevation. That sensation, the flash of a bird's spirit, was Brancusi's subject.

Painting

Golden Summer, Eaglemont

Creator:
Arthur Streeton
Description:
oil on canvas, 81.3cm x 152.6cm. Important work in the Australian Impressionist movement.
Date:
1889
Item Id Number:
95.604

Golden Summer, Eaglemont is an Australian idyll, a poem to the Australian landscape. The painting celebrates an experience of the landscape of leisured enjoyment. Eaglemont, on the outskirts of Melbourne, was a rural settlement in the 1880s. Arthur Streeton and fellow artists Tom Roberts, Charles Conder and others painted regularly in the area, sometimes on day trips, sometimes camping there.

Sculpture

Shiva Nataraja

Creator:
Tamil Nadu
Description:
Cast bronze, lost wax technique, 86cm x 48cm x 24.5cm, early Chola Period, second half of 10th century.
Date:
10th century
Item Id Number:
94.1409 A-B

This sculpture is a metaphor for Hindu cosmology. It illustrates the god's connection to the creation and destruction of the universe with visual reference to sound, water, air, light and heat. Many of these images were found in the South of India and were carried in processions for didactic purposes.

Installation

The Aboriginal Memorial (two hundred Aboriginal log coffins)

Creator:
Various Aboriginal artists
Description:
Major installation of 200 hollow log bone coffins to commemorate the bicentennial of white settlement.
Date:
1987-88
Item Id Number:
87.2240 1-200

The Memorial is dedicated to all the Aboriginal people who perished in the course of European settlement, and for whom it had not been possible to conduct appropriate mortuary rites. It consists of 200 hollow-log coffins, one for each year of European settlement.