National Gallery Celebrates 20th Anniversary

October 2002

Thursday 3 October at 12.00pm
On 3 October 2002 the celebrations begin. Three major exhibitions will open at a midday preview on Thursday 3 October: Seeing the Centre: The Art of Albert Namatjira (5 October - 19 January 2003), Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles and The Big Americans: Albers, Frankenthaler, Hockney, Johns, Lichtenstein, Motherwell, Rauschenberg, Stella, (4 October - 27 January 2003). A focus exhibition on the architecture of the Gallery will also be a feature of these celebrations.

Friday 4 October at 12.45pm
Guest lecturer Dr Piriya Krairiksh will present a public lecture focusing on Cambodian and Thai sculpture and a walk-through of the Asian Textiles Gallery. Dr Krairiksh was the NGA's Curator of the Arts of Asia prior to its opening from 1976-77.

Saturday 5 October Open Day sponsored by QANTAS
Special events include the launch of 'Australian Art in the National Gallery' by Gordon Darling AO CMG in the James O. Fairfax Theatre at midday - limited seating.

Two illustrated lectures will follow: Ken Tyler, Master Printer for artists in the Big Americans at 2pm and Neil Dawson, New Zealand artist at 3.30pm, whose new installation, Diamonds, now hangs outside the entrance to the Gallery, replacing his work, Globe, which was destroyed in a windstorm.

Other attractions during the Open Day include tours of the Permanent Collection with Voluntary Guides, Curators' tours of the major temporary exhibitions, tours of the Sculpture Garden and behind the scenes. Music, celebrity talks, drawing sessions and practical activities for families throughout the day and a rolling cinema program will be added attractions.

At 7pm there will be a party for staff, ex-staff, artists and NGA Members. Champagne on arrival. Permanent collection and major exhibitions will be open until 8.30pm. Foyer Club from 8pm. Live music and drinks. Cocktail Lounge from 8pm. Ambient jazz and cocktails. DJ from 10pm. Catch up with friends. Dance the night away. Celebrate. Places are limited, bookings essential. Tickets $25 per person. Telephone Membership Office 02 6240 6504 or buy on line at by Monday 30 September 2002. Entree cards will be issued on receipt of payment.

On 12 October the inaugural symposium coordinated by the Institute of Landscape Architects in conjunction with the National Capital Authority will celebrate the Gallery's Sculpture Garden. The NGA Sculpture Garden was designed by a team lead by Harry Howard which included Barbara Buchanan and was established in association with the architects of the NGA Col Madigan and Roger Vidler. On this day there will also be a special access tour of the exhibition Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles for hearing impaired visitors.

The celebrations will continue throughout 2002-03. In addition to the Travelling Exhibitions Program, which tours exhibitions across the length and breadth of the country and the NGA's extensive loans programs which distributes works of art to galleries throughout the nation, during the Gallery's 20th Birthday key works from the National Collection will be toured to state and regional galleries across Australia.

Major publications to be launched in conjunction with the Birthday celebrations include Australian Art in the National Gallery of Australia, Building a National Collection of Art and a book of Les Murray's poetry entitled The Full Dress featuring selected works from the collection. Fully illustrated catalogues accompany the exhibitions Seeing the Centre, The Big Americans and Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles will be available in the Gallery Shop. Dedicated areas of the Gallery's website will provide access to detailed information and images related to these exhibitions, as well as access to the International Art catalogue, at

For further information contact
Public Affairs +61 2 6240 6431