Detail: Indonesia Sumatra - Palembang
Ceremonial covering 19th century
silk, gold thread, sequins
Acquired by purchase and gift from the Collection of Robert J.Holmgren
and Anita Spertus, New York
National Gallery of Australia
click detail to view full image
The National Gallery provides access to, and information about works of
art locally, nationally and internationally.
The National Gallery provides the public with access to and information
about works of art through educational, membership and public programs
and its publications, both printed and electronic.
Professional development sessions were conducted for 1,484 teachers across
all key learning areas for both primary and secondary schools. A total
of 73,713 students and teachers from across Australia participated in
National Gallery education programs. The Federation Muster of Distance
Education students attracted significant attention – with other
cultural venues in the ACT, the Gallery provided programs for teachers
and students from isolated areas across the nation. A collaborative program
also brought 200 teachers to Canberra in December 2000 for a weekend excursion
to prepare for the Centenary Year of Federation school programs.
An information brochure and two posters featuring the Gallery’s
website were sent to every school in Australia. For the Federation
and Monet & Japan exhibitions, exhibition trails for young
children were provided, with associated full colour teaching resource
booklets. Teachers’ previews were also conducted and online education
programs and audio tours for these exhibitions were provided.
Programs for students with special needs continued, and ‘Special
Access Days’ were held for visitors with special needs for all of
the major exhibitions. Broadcasts focusing on works of art and exhibitions
were taped for Radio Print Handicapped and for the ABC. A video featuring
Fiona Hall’s Fern Garden was developed and produced and is
currently showing in the Gallery.
The Summer Scholarship gives 16 Year 11 students (two from each State
and Territory) a glimpse of the possibilities of a career in the arts.
This year the intensive week-long program for Fine Arts students was sponsored
by SMS Consulting, the Kurrajong Hotel, Bundanon Trust, Belconnen Rotary
Club and the Canberra Art Teachers Association. The Sony Foundation Australia
has agreed to be the principal sponsor of this project for the next three
In the International Year of the Volunteer the Gallery’s 143 Voluntary
Guides provided Discovery Tours for 18,879 primary school students, twice-daily
tours of the collections, and twice-daily tours in four major exhibitions
Inside Out: New Chinese art, Aboriginal Art in Modern Worlds,
Federation: Australian art and society 1900–2001 and Monet
& Japan. In addition they conducted many tours for specific groups
and VIPs from government and diplomatic sectors. During the year the Guides
took visitors on tours of 14 temporary exhibitions.
Collection study room
Works of art not on display in the National Gallery are available for
viewing by the public, students, scholars and artists in the collection
study room (CSR). In 2000–2001 the CSR was used by 1,392 visitors,
who studied 7,771 works of art.
Public programs are devised to enhance visitor experience and extend National
Gallery audiences by placing works of art within a broader context. Lectures,
floor talks, symposiums, workshops, films and concerts provided information
to a range of audiences including academics, students, children, and other
members of the general public.
The Gallery website was regularly updated to allow greater access to
information about public programs and visitors were able to search the
calendar of events though a range of categories.
Floor talks and lectures by 39 artists, including Wenda Gu, Zhang Huan
and Xu Bing, whose works were displayed in the exhibition Inside Out:
New Chinese art, provided valuable insights into their ideas and techniques.
Other international speakers included the American artist Joseph Marioni
and the American photographer John Loengard. Australian artists who came
to the Gallery to discuss their work included Ricky Swallow, Rosslynd
Piggott, Susan Cohn, Anne Ferran, and Danius Kesminas. Works by these
artists were included in Uncommon World, the Gallery’s exhibition
of contemporary Australian art.
Over 70 international and Australian guest lecturers delivered presentations
at the Gallery. These included Professor Richard Wollheim (University
of California, Berkeley); Peter Wilson (Tate Gallery) and Matiebelle Gittinger
(Textile Museum, Washington DC). Four major symposiums were held –
the speakers included Colta Ives (The Metropolitan Museum, New York);
Timothy Clark (British Museum, London) and Genvieve Lacambre (Musée
d’Orsay, Paris). Bob Nation, George Freedman, Brit Andresen and
Clive Lucas all took part in the Contemporary Australian Architects Lecture
Gallery staff, including curators, conservators, educators and Volunteers
Guides delivered 110 lunch time talks in the Gallery.
The 2000–2001 Public Programs included 36 musical events and ten
book readings by Australian authors. Musical events ranged from community
choirs and orchestras to concerts by well-known artists – these
included performances by David Hobson, Suzanne Johnstone, Riley Lee and
the Goldner String Quartet. Australia Day was celebrated with a concert
by The Gadflys, who performed to an audience of over 3,000 in the Sculpture
Garden. Award-winning composer Peter Sculthorpe introduced a performance
of his string quartets by the Australian Youth Orchestra. The play Claude
Monet: Letters from Giverny, by Canberra-based writer–director
Peter Wilkins, commissioned by the Gallery, was performed on 18 and 19
Other events included 30 workshops and demonstrations covering a range
of interests and ages, as well as cultural events such as Japanese Tea
Ceremony. Sub-Urban 3 took place in December 2000. This annual
event celebrates the dynamic force of youth culture through art, music,
fashion and extreme sports. More than 50 films and videos were screened,
including children’s holiday films and the weekly art documentaries.
Members received invitations to exclusive previews of the exhibitions
Federation: Australian art and society 1901–2001 and Monet
& Japan. There were other opportunities to view these exhibitions
outside normal Gallery hours at functions specifically organised for Members.
These programs included special viewings, breakfasts, a talk by a Member
who had lived in Giverny, and a performance of Claude Monet:
Letters from Giverny.
A Membership drive conducted during Monet & Japan resulted
in 2,425 new Members. The total number of Members (including families)
at 30 June 2001 was 29,667, compared to 28,498 the previous year. Demonstrating
their great commitment to the Gallery, 1,486 of these are foundation Members
who joined when the Gallery opened in 1982.
A successful three-day trip to Bathurst, Hill End and the Blue Mountains
was organised for Members. Day trips to Cowra, Bundanon and Sydney were
Supported by Gallery Council member Mr Philip Bacon AM, a Members-only
function was held in the International art galleries with the Director
speaking about Luca Giordano’s Rape of the Sabines c.1672–74
and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra performing works from the Baroque
A customer information system will be installed in the new financial
year linking electronic ticketing, exhibition information, Membership
subscriptions and booking for events and tours through the Gallery’s
Supported by John and Rosanna Hindmarsh, the Members Lounge was completely
refurbished and reopened in March 2001. Members now enjoy a wider variety
of refreshments and a mezzanine area above the Members Lounge.
National Gallery Research Library
The Research Library serves a dual purpose as a support service for the
work of the staff of the National Gallery and also as a resource for researchers
and members of the public in support of the Gallery’s objective
to provide access and information about art. External access has been
enhanced by the development of an online reference query form on the website,
by customised access to our catalogue on the website, and by the completion
of the loading of our holdings into the national bibliographic data-base,
Significant activities this year included the valuing of the Research
Library collections and the commencement of planning for improved facilities
designed to increase the possible level of public access.
Reference services were heavily used this year resulting in an overall
increase in activity of 25.5 per cent to 5,314 queries. The number of
queries from external readers and members of the public was 1,662 and
the online query service is proving popular – 488 queries were received
in this way, an increase of 44 per cent. Internal queries from staff and
volunteers increased by 51 per cent to 3,652. This reflects the heavy
involvement of library staff in activities relating to exhibitions and
publications. A similar pattern was reflected in inter-library loan activity
with, 338 items borrowed and 202 items lent. Of the total 5,314 queries
handled, answers were found for 98.5 per cent of them. Of these, 86.25
per cent were answered solely from our resources, 11.5 per cent from a
combination of internal and external resources and 2.25 per cent from
external sources alone. Reader training means that much of the use of
the Research Library is unassisted.
We are indebted to the many people who continue to donate material to
the Research Library by gift or on exchange. These sources accounted for
60 per cent of the 2,570 items added to the monograph collection this
year. In 2000–2001 2,403 items were added to the catalogue. A total
of 3,399 periodical issues and auction sales catalogues were added to
the collection and 24,947 items were added to the Documentation Collection
Over 500 audio tapes of lectures and talks in the Gallery were transferred
to the Research Library. A preliminary listing has been made of these,
with new tapes being listed on receipt.
The Research Library is fortunate to have a group of voluntary indexers
whose work on our archival and audio-visual holdings is invaluable. Indexing
of a number of archival groups was completed this year, including that
of the extensive Bernard Hall Archive. See Appendix 8 for the full list
of Gallery volunteers.
In 2000–01, the National Gallery published several groundbreaking
catalogues in terms of concepts and numbers sold. The Federation
catalogue is a stunning visual history of this century in paint, sculpture,
photography, prints and decorative arts.
The beautiful and scholarly catalogue for the exhibition Monet &
Japan juxtaposes the masterpieces of Claude Monet’s art and
the Japanese ukiyo-e prints that influenced his painting, and has
sold 35,500 copies.
Islands in the Sun is the first major exploration of the printmaking
practice in Australasia and brings together prints by artists from Arnhem
Land, Bathurst and Melville Islands, Torres Strait Islands, Papua New
Guinea, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific islands.
In Search of the Native catalogues rare photographs by Max Dupain
and Eduardo Masferré which show a shared interest in documenting
the threatened lives of indigenous peoples in Papua New Guinea and the
The artist Frida Kahlo lived during the turmoil of the Mexican revolution
in the 1920s. She struggled with injuries following accident and illness
and had a tumultuous love life in her marriage to Diego Rivera, the most
prominent Mexican contemporary artist of the time. Their work, and that
of other Mexican modernists, is discussed in the catalogue Frida Kahlo,
Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism.
In 2000 the Aboriginal Memorial toured Europe to great acclaim
and the publication Aboriginal Art in Modern Worlds includes the
Aboriginal Memorial and the work of six major Aboriginal artists,
ranging from the Kimberley paintings of Rover Thomas, in traditional ochres,
blacks and whites, to contemporary photography by Tracey Moffat.
Tony Tuckson’s mature paintings and drawings are the focus of Painting
Forever: Tony Tuckson, which features arguably the best of his abstract
and expressionist art.
Uncommon World brings together a diverse selection of recent Australian
art in a range of media – paintings, prints, photographs, decorative
art and installations, from Neil Emmerson’s thought-provoking prints
to Rosslynd Piggott’s striking installations relating to sleep,
anxiety and dream states.
Childhoods Past: Children’s art of the twentieth century
draws on the Frances Derham Collection of children’s art and shows
the richness and diversity of revealing images that result from a child’s-eye
view of the world.
Keeping Culture documents an exhibition of objects made by various
Aboriginal communities (involving nine co-curators from these communities)
that toured to regional keeping places and cultural centres.
Going to Extremes: George Silk, photojournalist and Drawn to
Painting: Leon Kossoff are two examples of expansive room brochures
produced to accompany exhibitions.
This year, the Gallery acquired the triptych Virgin and Child with
Saints c.1510–20 a major 16th-century altarpiece. An accompanying
booklet was produced, which tells its fascinating story and includes a
fold-out colour reproduction of the complete triptych. The painting After
Cézanne by Lucian Freud was also acquired by the Gallery this
year. The title refers to a version of Afternoon in Naples by Paul
Cézanne, of which the Gallery has another version. This publication
tells the story of its acquisition, along with a discussion of its significance
in the artist’s œuvre.
Four issues of artonview were published and over 30,000 copies
sent out to Members. artonview combines essays by art historians,
curators and visiting scholars with book reviews, exhibitions listings
and auction reports.
Educational and public programs material includes publications to support
various exhibitions, such as teachers’ notes for schools and lecture
series. Promotional material is supplied for the Children’s Gallery
and publications have also been produced for special events such as NAIDOC
Week and Science Week.
Promotional materials such as posters, brochures, invitations, tickets,
media advertising, fliers and symposium details were all produced by the
Gallery’s Publications Department.
Commercial product is created to accompany each major exhibition, for
example, T-shirts, tea-towels, mugs and prints. As well as banners, tags,
packaging and signage for the Gallery shop, Christmas gifts and cards
are a major project for the department’s designers.
During the 2000–2001 474,624 people accessed the National Gallery’s
primary website, www.nga.gov.au, which was an increase of 189 per cent
The website was constantly upgraded with features to enable better access
to information and images. The Gallery’s Federation and Monet
& Japan online exhibitions were extremely popular, integrating
educational content in innovative ways.
The support of the Gordon Darling Australasian Print Fund allowed the
Gallery to develop and launch www.australianprints.gov.au, the pre-eminent
online collection of images of Australian prints, posters and illustrated
books, with information and resources from Australia, Papua New Guinea,
Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific islands.
The Gallery’s free email newsletter update, artonline was
initiated during 2000–2001, and has an increasing subscription base.
artonline is distributed nationally and internationally on a regular
basis to notify subscribers of special events or offers.
The Gallery relaunched its online shop, as ngashop.com.au, and implemented
the highly popular option of online exhibition ticket sales.
The Gallery’s online Annual Report for 2000–2001 is available