Tokyo Stars
Light up the stage

Kabuki costumes and Natori Shunsen's actor prints

On show until 12 October 2014

Japanese printmakers have long reflected the drama, passion and pageantry of the kabuki theatre. The National Gallery of Australia exhibition Stars of the Tokyo stage immerses visitors in this theatrical world and celebrates the relationship between Japan's visual and performing arts in the early modern era.

Captivating portraits of the megastars of the 1920s and 30s by Natori Shunsen (1886–1960) are displayed with images of theatres, scenes from kabuki dramas, film footage and original stage costumes. Acquired for the Gallery from the collection of the Shochiku theatre company, Japan's premier kabuki producers, the costumes are striking, colourful and embellished to allow the characters to be recognisable even from the back rows of a theatre.

(image): Shochiku Costume Company Kabuki robe for an akahime character (under robe) c. 2000, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Pauline and John Gandel Fund 2011

At the entrance to Stars of the Tokyo stage, two brilliant red robes are immediately eye-catching for their silk and gold embroidery. Long-sleeved kimonos of this type were designed to transform male actors into akahime, or red princesses, the vulnerable infatuated young women of kabuki dramas. Also featured are five boldly decorated purple robes worn to portray a group of daring thieves, and the extraordinary costume of warrior-priest Benkei.

- Lucie Folan, Curator, Asian Art


(cover + banner image): Natori Shunsen Bando Shucho III as Shizuka Gozen in 'Yoshitsune and the thousand cherry trees' 1925, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Gift of Jennifer Gordon 1998


Alive and Spirited

Opens: 2 August | Children's Gallery (Level 2)

Alive and Spirited is the latest exhibition now on show in the Children's Gallery. It explores the important role of mythical beings in Aboriginal society; these exquisite works of art are the tangible evidence of the spiritual realm.

Throughout the exhibition children can explore the different mythical beings and the multiple ways in which they are represented. Some artists depict these spiritual beings in paintings on canvas or bark, as carved or engraved objects, as sculptured weavings or some use the format of a multimedia installation. All of these mechanisms are utilised to conjure the form and spiritual presence of the ancient supernatural beings.

These lively, powerful and sometimes naughty mythological spiritual beings take on many forms. In some instances they exist in human form, or they may manifest as animals, or sometimes they appear as both. They often reside within the land and or emerge from it. They took form in the Dreaming, either bringing order and stability or creating trouble and uncertainty. They are revered today through art, ceremonial song, dance and storytelling. 


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The diverse range of colourful and figurative works of art will captivate children while they learn and participate in the exciting narratives of the spiritual realm. 

They can discover the supernatural beings of the Wandjina from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, enjoy the cheeky and playful Mimih spirits that live in the escarpments of the stone country of Western Arnhem Land, and see the graceful Yalkyalk freshwater spirits from Maningrida in Central Arnhem Land.

Journey through the land of Alive and Spirited to discover the importance of each individual spiritual being.


(image): Christopher Pease Hunting party, 2003, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 2004

up close

Experience the big picture - close up

Our members have been experiencing all the Gallery has to offer recently with multiple after-hours events.

Presence provided our members with the opportunity to discover the secrets of the Atua: Sacred gods from Polynesia exhibition after-hours with a curator lead tour, followed by a lavish spread of canapés and champagne in the Members Lounge. Our family members have also experienced the full value of their membership, with our most recent family event, Boo! being a resounding success.

Families enjoyed a screening of The Gruffalo, followed by paper lantern-making and a torchlight tour through the Gallery to discover many wonderful mystical creatures.

Members may have noticed that we have doubled the number of members events. To avoid missing out, make sure to book in and experience the Gallery from an exclusive and engaging perspective.


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'Boundless' concert- Australian String Quartet

31 August | 2pm
Gandel Hall
$65, $60 concession, $55 Members

The Australian String Quartet (ASQ) was established in 1985 and has had a major impact on the musical life of Australia. The ASQ performed at the National Gallery last year during the Turner exhibition, and this time they return to the Gallery on Sunday 31 August to perform their concert 'Boundless' during their 2014 national tour.   

This August the quartet, comprising violinists Kristian Winther and Ioana Tache, violist Stephen King and cellist Sharon Draper, will captivate audiences with a program featuring three masterpieces from the string quartet repertoire by Haydn, Beethoven and Bartók performed on the Quartet's rare and exquisite set of Guadagnini instruments.

The 'Boundless' concert program concludes with the fifth string quartet by the master of 20th century string quartets – Béla Bartók. This piece is among Bartok's most virtuosic works for the genre and has been has been hailed as one of the ultimate challenges for string quartets since its first performance in 1935.


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(image): Members of the Australian String Quartet

ASQ violist Stephen King said "The program celebrates the work of arguably some of the greatest European masters of string quartet writing. The repertoir is a well-balanced offering, covering classical, romantic and 20th Century pieces".



We are offering two double-passes to attend this performance on 31 August. For your chance to win, just answer the following question:

The lush visual artwork featured on the Australian String Quartet¹s website for their Boundless concert is the work of which Australian artist?

Psst: Check the Boundless National Tour section of the ASQ website

Email your answer including your name and postal details to: Artonline by Friday 8 August 2014.

100 years

In 2009, the National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Limited established the Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Fellowship program to address the relatively small percentage of Indigenous professionals participating in the visual arts sector.

(image): 2013 participants at the Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership Program Dinner with former Australian Senator Aiden Ridgeway

The partnership represents two iconic Australian organisations committed to the long-term development, training and mentorship of Indigenous people and will present a high-quality professional development opportunity for the visual and Indigenous arts sectors.


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Wesfarmers is 100 years old in 2014 and will be celebrating this milestone throughout the year. Established in 1914 as a farmers' co-operative, Wesfarmers was borne out of union demands for increased pay and conditions for rural workers which most farmers could not afford. It soon became known as "the farmers' company".

Today, Wesfarmers is one of Australia's largest listed companies and one of the nation's biggest employers. But its success today owes much to its beginnings back in 1914. A tradition of boldness, endurance and community continues.

The National Gallery of Australia is very fortunate to be in partnership with Wesfarmers Limited through Wesfarmers Arts, which has made the Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Fellowship program possible.

Around the country

Northern Territory
The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn Gift: Blue Case: Technology | Alice Springs Library, Alice Springs NT,
until 19 August 2014

St Philip's College, Alice Springs NT, 20 August – 24 September 2014

Carol Jerems Photographic artist | QUT Art Museum, Brisbane QLD,
until 7 September 2014

South Australia
Bodywork: Australian Jewellery 1970-2012 | Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, Murray Bridge SA, 29 August – 12 October 2014

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn gift: The 1888 Melbourne Cup |
Mildura Art Gallery, Mildura VIC,
until 2 September 2014


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Stars in the river: the prints of Jessie Traill | Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery VIC, until 21 September 2014

Western Australia
The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn Gift: Red Case: Myths and rituals and Yellow Case: Form, Space and Design | Wanneroo Cultural Centre, Wanneroo WA, until 1 September 2014


(image): Jessie Traill proofing an etching by subdued light c.1920 gelatin silver photograph, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, purchased 2000

NGA Shop

NGA Shop Sale - 30% off EVERYTHING!

NGA Shop Sale - 30% off everything 13-17 August

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Vintage Electric:
movie pass giveaway!

Sunday afternoons at Vintage Electric are the perfect opportunity to relax and escape with timeless cinema, and toast to the weekend with a glass your favourite classic drink from our Prosecco Bar (yes, you can take your drink in, too!) and enjoy our award-winning olive-oil popcorn and gourmet handmade choc-tops.

At Vintage Electric each Sunday at 3pm, Canberrans can rediscover their favourite films from bygone eras on our silver screen for just $8 Movie Club Members.

New editions to our Vintage circuit include cult hits such as:

  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • The Dark Crystal (1982)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • Animal House (1978)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • Dirty Dancing (1987)
  • The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)


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There are 20 double passes to be won for Breakfast at Tiffany's showing on 31 August. For your chance to win, tell us in 25 words or less:

Which is your favourite classic film from our latest Vintage Electric program and why?

Send your answers to: Palace Cinemas by Friday 22 August.

For more information and to view the full Vintage Electric program, please visit Palace Cinemas.

Moët Hennessy Collection


Moët Hennessy Collection is your invitation into the world of the finest champagnes, wines and spirits.

A place for you to explore, discover and purchase our full range of luxury products, inspiring gifts and exclusive rarities from each of the iconic brands we represent.

As a welcome to Moët Hennessy Collection, we would like to offer National Gallery of Australia subscribers $25 off your first purchase*.

Simply click here to start shopping and once you have selected your purchases, please enter the code '25NATIONALGALLERY' in your shopping bag.


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*This limited offer is available until 30 August 2014 for National Gallery of Australia subscribers. One use per customer only.


You may have heard of it. It's in NewActon, Canberra's arts and culture precinct.

It's not another boutique art hotel… It's an intense collaboration of designers, artists, artisans and fantasists... Anna Wili Highfield, Lucy McRae, Amos Moje, Adam Goodrum, Charles Wilson, Al Stark, Ochre Lawson, Valerie Restarick, Lee Grant, Louis Berczi, Adam and Amy Coombes, Elizabeth Pertile, Maurice Golotta…

Handmade and artisan undertones are echoed throughout each element of the hotel's carefully considered design.


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The end result is a collaborative accommodation proposition where each guest is inducted into the encompassing experience of art, nature and each other.

Come stay.

(image): Hotel Hotel Creative Room by Ross Honeysett

Art & Craft

Eckersley¹s Art & Craft HUGE Drawing Sale starts on 1 August until 31 August and has great offers on a wide selection of drawing materials.

Whether you enjoy life drawing, perspective drawing, emotive drawing, geometric drawing or Manga Eckersley¹s have all the tools you need for your creative journey.


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Drawing is not what one sees but what one can make others see.
Edgar Degas


Canberra Times

Now in its 38th year, The Canberra Times Fun Run presented by Westpac returns on Sunday 7 September 2014.

Runners, joggers, pram pushers and walkers can all get involved while taking in the iconic local sites as part of the 14km, 10km run or Adidas 5km walk or run.

Entries filling fast!


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