Australian Art


In the current displays we are working with the collection in a different way to what you might expect in order to tell stories about the Australian experience and what it is to be an Australian. To achieve this we are bringing together works from different parts of our collection, often combining paintings, sculptures, photography, prints and drawings, and objects.

We are not aiming to present a comprehensive story of Australian art and the imagery used by Australian artists, but rather to select key moments which tell us something about our nation’s identity. We will be regularly changing these displays so that over time we can rotate far more works from our extensive collection and build up layers of meaning and experience. We hope you enjoy this new approach and will come back often to see what comes next.

New acquisitions


Special focus

Related exhibition sites

Select Publications

  • At home in Australia  Peter Conrad, 2003, National Gallery of Australia, in association with Thames and Hudson
  • Australian Art in the National gallery of Australia, Anne Gray, editor, National Gallery of Australia 2002
  • Australian folk and popular art in the Australian National Gallery John McPhee, 1988
  • Building the collection Pauline Green, editor, 2003
  • Federation : Australian art and society 1901-2001  John McDonald 2000
  • Grace Cossington Smith  Deborah Hart, editor 2005
  • Home sweet home: works from the Peter Fay collection, 2003
  • Joy Hester and friends Deborah Hart, 2001
  • National Sculpture Prize and exhibition, 2005, 2005
  • National Sculpture Prize and exhibition, 2003, 2003
  • Place made: Australian Print Workshop  Roger Butler and Anne Virgo editors 2004
  • Read my lips: Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman  Kathryn Weir 1998
  • Tales of the unexpected: aspects of contemporary Australian art,  Deborah Hart, 2002
  • The Antipodeans: challenge and response in Australian art 1945-1965, 1999
  • The Edwardians: secrets and desires  Anne Gray; with essays by Ann Galbally, 2004
  • The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné Roger Butler, 2005
  • Uncommon world: aspects of contemporary Australian art 2000


Image above:
Ramingining Artists 
The Aboriginal Memorial 1987–88
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased with the assistance of funds from National Gallery admission charges and commissioned in 1987