The National Gallery of Australia for all Australians

27 February 2004

In recent years the National Gallery of Australia has sent increasing numbers of works of art around the country to museums and galleries in state and regional venues. Last year’s very successful Out and About tour, along with other touring programs, saw 1.3 million Australians view works from their National Gallery in their own home communities throughout the country.

“The collection of the National Gallery of Australia is for all Australians,” said Harold Mitchell, Chairman of the NGA Council, commenting on the success of the Gallery’s recent travelling and loans programs.

Among the many important works to travel in the Out and About tour was Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles, which was seen by nearly 300,000 people at the National Gallery of Victoria before its return for display in Canberra today.

Dr Brian Kennedy, Director, said: “The National Gallery is delighted that its efforts to create a Gallery for all Australians are reaching such significant numbers of people. In addition, the number of works of art from the National Gallery available on loan throughout the country has increased from 1250 in 1996 to 2550 in 2003. This doubling of the program over seven years has led to a position where twice as many works are on view throughout the country as are on display in Canberra, where there are regularly approximately 1200 works on permanent display.”

“It is heartening that while Canberra itself had a tough year in 2003, post the bush fires, and is recovering with the benefit of a significant marketing program by Australian Capital Tourism, our visitor numbers around the country have never been higher,” said Dr Kennedy.

The Out and About tour was supported by Visions of Australia and Art Indemnity Australia.

For further information contact:
Jenny Blake, Head of Marketing and Communications, National Gallery of Australia on +61 2 62406700 or