Issue 153 | December 2011
Renaissance  | Accademia Carrara | Members news | Events | Free recipe
01 Renaissance 15th and 16th century
Italian paintings from the
Accademia Carrara,

Renaissance: 15th and 16th century Italian paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo
opens on December 9. Book your tickets now to experience this unparalleled opportunity to see more than 70 Early and High Renaissance paintings in Australia, on show in Canberra only. This is the first time that paintings by artists such as Raphael, Botticelli and Bellini have been seen in this country. This is a timed ticket exhibition offering entry every hour.

Enhance your experience by pre-purchasing additional items with your ticket, such as an audio tour, exhibition catalogue, Renaissance cookbook and dining packages.

The Sculpture Garden Restaurant is open for lunch from Wednesday to Sundays with Premium breakfast packages available on weekends.   Enjoy a summer drink on Friday nights in the Sculpture Bar which re-opens on 9 December 2011. 

The NGA shop is open 7 days a week giving you the opportunity to purchase unique gifts this Christmas.

Want to avoid the crowds? Our Renaissance premium experience allows you to view the exhibition with a limited number of visitors. Available on Saturdays and Sundays, doors open at 9.00 am, prior to the public opening time at 10.00 am. Visitors who book the Premium experience have the exclusive option of also booking breakfast at the Sculpture Garden Restaurant.

Above: Altobello Melone ' Portrait of a gentleman (Cesare Borgia?)' c 1513 oil on wood panel, Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, legacy of Guglielmo Lochis, 1866

Title image: Raphael 'Saint Sebastian' c.1501–02 (detail) oil and gold on wood panel, Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, legacy of Guglielmo Lochis 1866

The exhibition is organised in partnership with the City of Bergamo and its Pinacoteca Accademia Carrara, Bergamo.

02 The Accademia Carrara, Bergamo 15th and 16th century
Italian paintings from the
Accademia Carrara,

The paintings in the Renaissance exhibition are on loan from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, which is closed for renovations. The city of Bergamo is situated in the province of Lombardy in Northern Italy, near Milan. Giovanni Valagussa, curator of the exhibition, describes the institution’s fascinating history, going back more than two centuries, in the Renaissance catalogue.

The Accademia has had a dual purpose since its inauguration in 1810: as an art gallery and as a school.

Its core collection is attributed to three collectors, each with a distinct style: Count Giacomo Carrara, Count Guglielmo Lochis and Giovanni Morelli. Carrara bequeathed large numbers of drawings and prints, anticipating they would be used for teaching. Lochis collected mainly paintings by famous artists. Morelli’s skill was in discovering high quality works in unexpected places.

The decisions made at various periods of this institution’s development reflect the attitudes of the time and the personalities of those entrusted with its care.

In retrospect, the decision in 1835 to sell at auction a large portion of the collection, leaving only 500 paintings, seems incomprehensible. The justification at the time was to make space and reflect the ‘climate of triumphant Neoclassicism, the style the students were required to absorb’.

Subsequent custodians of the collection have lamented the works sold at auction, but the event reflects that for a century the main function of the Accademia Carrara was as a teaching institution. ‘In 1912, for the first time, the institution decided on a modern and more general structure.’ From this point on the school and gallery had separate functions.

Giovanni Valagussa states that the closure for renovation ‘opens up a broad range of ideas for the future of this venerable institution’.

Further information on the history of the Accademia Carrara and the paintings in the Renaissance exhibition can be found in the exhibition catalogue.

RRP $49.95 ($39.95 special NGA price)
244 pages, soft cover
ISBN 978 0 642334 25 1
Available at the NGA Shop or to purchase online when you book tickets to the exhibition.

Title image: Simone Elia (artist and architect) Accademia Carrara c.1810 (detail) ink and wash


03 Members news

Christmas Shopping Night
Don't forget the Members Shopping Night tonight starting at 5:15pm. Enjoy a glass of champagne while you do your Christmas shopping and receive 20% off all purchases.

We have had an overwhelming response to both the members opening cocktail party and Curators dinner with both events now sold out. If you missed out on these events we do have more exclusive members events planned over the length of the exhibition details of which will be included in the upcoming Artevents brochure, which will reach your mailboxes in the coming weeks.

Members Acquisition Fund
All members should have now received the brochure for the Members Acquisition Fund 2011-12. We have already had an incredible response and thank those members who have so generously contributed towards the acquisition of this work. If you would like to make a donation please complete the form and return to the membership office or contact us on 1800 020 068.

Liz Wilson
Manager Membership and Development Programs

Title image: Margaret Olley 'Hawkesbury wildflowers and pears' 1973 (detail) oil on canvas

04 Event
highlights Go to calendar
for all events







Int Day of People with a Disability



05 unDisclosed 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial

On November 3 the National Gallery of Australia announced the second National Indigenous Art Triennial, unDisclosed.

From May to July 2012, visitors will have the opportunity to experience the dynamic visual expression of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. From across the country, 20 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists have been selected to represent Indigenous arts today. The artists hail from various regional centres, remote communities and capital cities in Australia—from the ‘Top End’ of Australia, including the Torres Strait Islands, down to the south-west of Western Australia and the southern isle of Tasmania.

The exhibition’s theme, ‘unDisclosed’, alludes to the spoken and the unspoken, the known and the unknown, what can be revealed and what cannot. It captures the duality of the disclosed and undisclosed embedded within the works and the exhibition as a whole. Viewers are invited to unearth the layers of hidden and subtle meanings and to place them alongside those that are conspicuous.

This exhibition was announced as part of the Wesfarmers Partnership for National Gallery Indigenous Art Programs.

Title image: Michael Cook 'Broken Dreams #3' 2010 (detail)
Inkjet print, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2011   

06 Renaissance
table James Kidman

Renowned Australian chef James Kidman re-imagines the rich tradition of Italian cooking for the home.

James Kidman's Renaissance table is a beautifully conceived and photographed collection of recipes designed for the home cook. Kidman's passion for quality ingredients, simple yet innovative combinations and the abundance of Italian hospitality brings new vitality to Italian cooking.
Lavishly illustrated with photographs by Sharyn Cairns, Renaissance table includes over 100 recipes for all occasions and an introduction on Italian food, art and history by Christine Dixon.

title image: Poached prawns and fennel from 'Renaissance table'

Poached prawns with fennel recipe here (pdf 300kb)

RRP $49.95
204 pages, hardcover
ISBN 9780642334244

Available from the NGA Shop, NGA mailorder and selected bookstores. Or order a copy online when you purchase Renaissance tickets.

The Renaissance table range also includes other cooking products.


07 Sculpture bar
Opens December 9

Relax and unwind in the Sculpture Garden every Friday evening from 5.00 to 10.00 pm during the Renaissance season. The National Gallery's Sculpture Bar, in association Veuve Clicquot, features Canberra's best DJ's. Listen and relax under the stars with a great range of food and beverages. It is the perfect way to start the weekend this summer!

Grand opening Friday 9 December 5pm.

Be sure to follow the Sculpture Bar's  Facebook page and Twitter for updates on what's on each week.

08 100 Works
for 100
A gift to the nation for the centenary of Canberra, 2013

This festive season, consider a unique and lasting gift and donate to the National Gallery of Australia on behalf of your loved ones.

Help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the national capital and be part of the unfolding story of Australia’s visual culture by participating in the 100 Works for 100 Years campaign.

Developed to commemorate Canberra’s centenary in 2013, the100 Works for 100 Years campaign aims to build the national art collection by raising funds for the acquisition of 100 important works of art, one for each year of Canberra’s existence. By donating to the campaign you will help us to advance the mission of the Gallery; to create a dynamic and comprehensive visual record of the art of Australia, our region and the world.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 'Reine de joie (Queen of Pleasure)' 1892 Purchased with the assistance of Mary Peabody, 2011

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
'Reine de joie (Queen of Pleasure)' 1892 Purchased with the assistance of Mary Peabody, 2011

To make a donation click here or for more information, contact the Foundation on +61 2 6240 6454 or at

09 National Visual Arts Education Conference
23 -25 January 2012

Visit the NVAEC website to register online, over the phone, or in person.

Join others passionate about visual arts education from all over Australia in Canberra this summer; to exchange ideas, engage with artists and discuss art and education.

The National Gallery of Australia and National Portrait Gallery are hosting a national conference for visual art educators. Be part of this professional learning opportunity at this critical time for visual arts education.

Full program available soon at:

Keynote speakers include:
Tim Rollins – New York based artist and art educator
Fiona Foley - artist
Hossein Valamanesh -artist
Additional speakers include:
Danie Mellor – artist and lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts
Mini Graff – artist
Daniel Von Sturmer - artist
Peter Alwast - artist
Dr Amanda Bell - Principal Brisbane Girls Grammar
Simon Spain - Creative Producer, Art Play Melbourne
Julie Gough - artist, writer and curator

More speakers to be added.

Drawing, ceramics, photography and new media workshops at ANU as well as screen printing and relief printing workshops at Megalo and glass workshops at the Canberra Glassworks are also part of the program.

10 What's
Australian photography

Max Dupain's Sunbaker is now hanging in the ‘Surrealism’ Gallery on level 2.

Sunbaker was taken while Dupain was on holiday at Culburra, on the New South Wales South Coast, in 1937, a time when the possibility of a war in Europe was becoming more and more likely.

The sunbaker, Dupain’s friend the Englishman Harold Salvage, is completely one with the land. He lies with his back exposed to the sun, seawater and sweat sparkling on his skin. Dupain used a low-angle shot, which transforms the simple shapes of the man’s oval head and triangular torso into a mountain-like outcrop set against the horizon.

caption: Max Dupain 'Sunbaker' 1937 gelatin silver photograph printed c.1975 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

The body’s strange domination of the composition and the rather ominous, mysterious and dreamlike mood created by Dupain show the influence of Surrealism on his style at this time in his career.

11 Around
the country
interstate events
and travelling

New South Wales
Australian portraits 1880–1960
is opening at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea (Sydney) on 3 December.

Space invaders: australian . street . stencils . posters . paste-ups . zines . stickers is at Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo 18 November – 18 March 2012.

Space invaders will be represented by NGA curators Roger Butler and Jaklyn Babington at Outpost: Art from the streets on Cockatoo Island from 4 November to 11 December.

Space invaders: australian . street . stencils . posters . paste-ups . zines . stickers opened at Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo on Friday 18 November. The event was well attended by the local community and participating artists.


The Western Plains Cultural Centre hosted a great day of public programs on Saturday 19 November which included a floor talk and a live display with Sydney-based artists Jumbo and Phibs who painted a large wall outside the front of the gallery where the public could watch and interact with them. The Centre also ran stencilling and badge-making workshops for the local children. The exhibition will be on display at the Western Plains Cultural Centre until 18 March 2012. More information here.

image: Jumbo in front of his work
at Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo

12 Novotel

Novotel Canberra is the official accommodation partner for Renaissance: 15th & 16th century Italian paintings from the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo.

Novotel Canberra's Renaissance Escape accommodation package includes: overnight accommodation in a Novotel Superior Room, full buffet breakfast for two in One Restaurant & Bar, 2 entry tickets to the Renaissance exhibition plus, stay a second night and also receive $50.00 food and beverage credit. Available from $269.00 per room, per night.

Ask the Novotel about their family Renaissance Escape package!

*Terms and conditions apply.
Visit the Novotel website for more information.