The National Gallery of
Australia celebrates 25 years

Sunday 14 October 1–5 pm

Introduction | Open day events | Exhibitions | New acquisitions | Gift program |
National Indigenous Art Triennial Events

Building façade of the National Gallery of Australia featuring projections of iconic works from the National Collection. Building façade of the National Gallery of Australia featuring projections of iconic works from the National Collection.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the National Gallery of Australia welcomes the public behind the scenes for a special afternoon of discovery.

Special guests and National Gallery of Australia staff will provide insights into key works of the national collection. Behind-the-scenes tours venture into the art conservation and photography labs, hidden art storage areas, the Gallery’s Library and executive and membership offices. Musical, dance and theatrical performances will be held throughout the gallery along with a full program of talks, workshops and activities for children.

The open day also provides an opportunity to see the recently refurbished National Australia Bank Sculpture Gallery, the new dedicated Pacific Arts Gallery, International and Australian art rehangs, a fresh contemporary art display in Project Gallery and models of the soon to commence reconstruction of the new front entrance.


Main events

Limited places
Where events indicate ‘limited places’, you will need to register your name for this activity to reserve your place. Please enquire at the Information Desk

tours and talks | theatre | dance | music | workshops | screenings | wine tasting


Night-time projection show
Commencing at 6pm Tuesday 9 October the National Gallery of Australia will come alive with a lighting presentation featuring iconic works of art, transforming the building façade through large format projections. The lighting presentation will be shown nightly 6pm-12am until 15 October 2007.


Membership Birthday specials
if you join this weekend :


Tours and talks

Behind-the-scenes tours
Behind-the-scenes tours will include art conservation and photography labs, hidden art storage areas, the NGA Library, executive, curatorial and membership offices. Parents and carers will need to be particularly mindful of children in secure areas on the behind-the-scenes tours. Limited places. Registration on the day

Collection floortalks
2–4 pm
Collection floortalks will take place throughout the Gallery by guest speakers, and artists will discuss their work on display.
Throughout the Gallery

Early Australian to Modern Australian Art
Galleries 45
2.00 pm Robert Bell Australian Colonial silver
2.20 pm Roger Butler Australian Impressionism room
2.40 pm Richard Larter Napier Waller
3.00 pm Helen Ennis Olive Cotton
3.20 pm Felicity St John Moore Melbourne Expressionism
3.40 pm Gareth Sansom The Great Democracy                    

Contemporary Artists
Galleries 87
2.00 pm eX de Medici Hate machine, mindless virtuosity brown luger
2.20 pm Robert Boynes Rendez-vous
2.40 pm Savanhdary Vongpoothon Various levels
3.00 pm Hossein Valamanesh Practice
3.20 pm Jan Senbergs The Port Liardet limner
3.40 pm Jenny Watson Horse hospital

International Art
Foyer – Galleries 1 and 2
1.50 pm Crispin Howarth Polynesian works of art
2.10 pm Lucina Ward Monet’s Haystacks
2.30 pm Christina Dixon de Chirico’s Death of a Spirit
2.50 pm Mark Henshaw 1910 Die Brucke catalogue
3.10 pm Sasha Grishin Malevich’s House under construction
3.30pm Michael Desmond Pollock’s Totem Lesson 2

Asian Art
Galleries 11 and 12
2.00 pm Voluntary Guides The Blue God
2.30 pm Melanie Eastburn Indian Goddesses
3.00 pm Hweifen Cheah Songket textile

National Indigenous Art Triennial
Temporary exhibition galleries
12.45 pm Dennis Nona                                   
1.00 pm Christian Thompson
1.15 pm Danie Mellor
2.30 pm Gordon Hookey
3.15pm Treahna Hamm
4.00 pm Arthur Pambegan

‘Out of the box’ talks
1–1.30 pm Anne O’Hehir will highlight pieces from the International and Australian Photography collection
2–2.30 pm Sarah Edge will bring out of storage objects from the Decorative Arts Collection
3–3.30 pm Kate Buckingham will discuss the prints of Picasso and Matisse
4–4.30 pm Pamela Walker will show and discuss objects from the African Art Collection
Limited places Collection Study Room

‘On the road with art’
1.30–3 pm
Join travelling exhibitions and art packing staff and learn about the process for packing works of art and sending them on the road around Australia. Find out what materials are used to pack works of art, how we keep them safe and what happens when they arrive at their destination James Fairfax Theatre foyer


Interactive family tours

‘Escape to the Pacific’
1.30–2 pm (repeated 3 pm)
Gather the family for mysterious, spooky, fantastic tales of the Pacific with a touch of romance. Presented by Kate Collins, Gallery Educator, in the Pacific Arts Gallery. Limited places

‘Through the window’
1–1.40 pm (repeated 2 pm and 3 pm)
Be surprised by what you discover as you explore the National Gallery of Australia building from all angles on its 25th birthday and draw what you see through the window of the Water Gallery. Presented by Margie Kevin, Gallery Educator. Limited places

‘Short stories and long scrolls’
1–1.40 pm (with Ingrid Anderson, Gallery Educator and Melanie Eastburn, Curator of Asian Art)
3–3.40 pm (with Ingrid Anderson)
Hear the story of the singing badgers and other Japanese tales associated with the exhibition Black robe white mist: art of the Japanese Buddhist nun Rengetsu and create your own special scroll to take home.
Rengetsu exhibition space Limited places

Also for families
(enquiries at the Information Desk)
Drawn in Children’s Gallery
Children’s Trails:



Open Stage Productions
12.30–1.15 pm (repeated 1.45 pm and 3.30 pm)
A Sydney company with an interactive theatrical improvisation based performance, in response to Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series.
Australian Art Gallery

Ickle Pickle Productions
1–4.15 pm
Canberra based company will engage with key works of art in the collection through costume and performance.
Throughout Australian and International Art galleries

‘Birds in space’
1.15–2 pm and 3.15–4 pm
An interpretive performance in response to Brancusi’s iconic sculptural works, ‘Birds in space’ accompanied by Stephen Rosenberg on the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute)
National Australia Bank Sculpture Gallery


Dance events
Encore performances in conjunction with the opening of the inaugural Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial

12–12.30 pm Tiwi Island Dancers
1–1.15 pm Christian Thompson performance artist, accompanied by Benjamin Skepper on cello
2–2.30 pm Aurukun dancers
2.45–3.15 pm Nyambri Performing Arts Group
3.30–4 pm Badu Island dancers
Temporary Exhibition Foyer



Bigotbri CWA Ladies
1.30–2 pm
This irreverent and satirical Sydney-based comedy duo will conduct a tour of NIAT – with a difference!
Temporary Exhibition Foyer and Exhibition Galleries



‘Big Band’, Canberra Youth Music
(conducted by Jim McMullen)
12.45–1.45 pm
Canberra Youth Music’s Big Band, an 18-piece swing band, will perform a range of swing tunes with a lot of brass.
Main Entrance Portico

Soegito Hardjodikoro
1–2 pm
Composer Soegito Hardjodikoro will play traditional Indonesian music, featuring the gender (xylophone with resonating tubes under the keys)
South East Asian Art Gallery

James McCuster Orchestra
Canberra Youth Music (conducted by Rowan Harvey-Martin)
2–3 pm
Main Entrance Portico

Peg Mantle Strings
(conducted by Jenny Higgs)
3.15–4 pm
Canberra Youth Music Main Entrance Portico

Nitya Music
3.30–4.30 pm
Local musicians will perform classical North Indian music in the Indian Art Gallery, featuring Nitya Bernard Parker on the bansuri (bamboo flute), Ross Bingham playing the tabla (percussion) and Archana on tamboura.
Indian Art Gallery

Cantabile Choir
Canberra Youth Music (conducted by Bronwyn Hendy)
4.30–4.45 pm
This choir of primary school students ranging in age from seven to twelve years will finish the afternoon by singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the Gallery. Main Entrance Portico


drop in workshops for all ages

‘Rob the Rausch’
1.30–4.30 pm
Join Tess Horwitz and Margaret Salt, and be inspired by the poetic collages of Robert Rauschenberg. Combine photocopied images of film stars, truck tyres, cardboard, tracing paper and coloured papers to create intriguing pictorial stories. Start with a visit to the exhibition in the Orde Poynton Gallery.
Small Theatre

‘Heavy metal, soft pencil’
1–2 pm and 3–4 pm
How do you make something look heavy with soft materials? Join Roy Marchant, artist and Gallery Educator, for a drawing workshop responding to the work of Max Ernst and Anselm Kiefer.
National Australia Bank Sculpture Gallery

‘View both ways’
1–2 pm and 3–4 pm
Discover the gods and goddesses, patterns and forms that show the rich diversity of Asian cultures while creating your own individual drawing book, with Penny Low, artist and Gallery Educator.
Asian Art Galleries

‘Best Dressed’
1.30–2.30 pm and 3.30–4.30 pm
Join Teffany Thiedeman, artist, and be inspired by early Australian paintings by drawing and dressing an imaginative portrait. Make a collage with materials such as paper top hats, lacy collars and walking sticks and frame your portrait in gold.
Australian Colonial Galleries


‘25 years of the NGA’
1–4.30 pm
Screening will include segments of historical documentaries about the Gallery and recent video about the National Collection
James O Fairfax Theatre

Wine tasting

Hosted by Sean Trenoweth from Samuel Smith & Son
3 pm–4.30pm
Main Foyer Recess
Yalumba and O’Leary Walker wines have provided support to the National Gallery of Australia for the 25th Anniversary celebrations and are extending this generosity to Gallery visitors: to purchase Yalumba and O’Leary Walker wines at special NGA 25th Anniversary prices visit:



Safety in the Gallery
To keep your family and the works of art safe, please:


First aid is available at the Information Desk

Photography and videoing is not permitted, including the use of mobile phones for this purpose.

Your child may be photographed during the course of this event by an official Gallery or press photographer who will request your permission. Photographs are used in Gallery publications and promotional material without the insertion of the child’s full name

Cloak room facilities will be limited, so please take this into consideration as standard restrictions apply to large bags and coats

Parent’s Room
A parent’s room is available near the National Gallery Shop

Food and beverages
No food or beverages are permitted in the Gallery spaces. Please use designated areas in the Gallery Café and Members Lounge. There will also be a coffee cart situated outside the main entrance. The scupturegarden restaurant will be open for brunch, 9.30 am – 2.30 pm.


Yalumba and O’Leary Walker wines have provided support to the National Gallery of Australia for the 25th Anniversary celebrations and are extending this generosity to Gallery visitors: to purchase Yalumba and O’Leary Walker wines at special NGA 25th Anniversary prices visit:


OWW     yalumba


Thank you to Coopers Brewery for supporting the NGA for the 25th Anniversary

coopers logo