Must see

The collection

There are of course many more masterpieces here in the National Gallery of Australia, which has the largest collection of art in Australia. Owned by all Australians, the national collection has a most comprehensive holding of Australian art and a strong focus on Indian and Southeast Asian art and Pacific arts, as well as 20th-century international art.

Take the opportunity to discover, or rediscover, the national collection.

Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series

Ground level, near entrance
See this iconic Australian series in its new, purpose-built gallery.

Sidney Nolan Ned Kelly 1946
National Gallery of Australia
Gift of Sunday Reed 1977

Claude Monet’s Haystacks, midday and Waterlilies

Ground level, Moderns
Two fine examples of Monet�s revolutionary approach to capturing the effect of changing light.

Claude Monet Haystacks, midday 1890
National Gallery of Australia Purchased 1979

Jackson Pollock’s Blue poles

Ground level, Abstract Expressionism
A masterpiece of 20th-century abstract art and arguably the most famous work in the Gallery�s collection.

Jackson Pollock Blue poles 1952
National Gallery of Australia Purchased 1973 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Licensed by ARS & VISCOPY, Australia

The sacred bull, Nandi

Ground level, Indian and Southeast Asian art
This superb example of early Indian art is the only significant sculpture of the popular Hindu image in an Australian public collection.

Chola dynasty (9th–13th centuries) The sacred bull Nandi, vehicle of Shiva 11th–12th century
National Gallery of Australia
Purchased with the assistance of Roslyn Packer AO, 2009

Ambum stone

Level 1, Melanesian art
The 3500-year-old Ambum stone is one of the oldest works in the national collection.

Papua New Guinea, Western Highlands, Ambum Valley The Ambum stone c 1500 BCE
National Gallery of Australia
Purchased 1977


Arthur Streeton’s Golden summer, Eaglemont

Level 1, Australian Impressionism
Enjoy this evocative depiction of the Australian landscape by this significant Australian Impressionist.

Arthur Streeton Golden summer, Eaglemont 1889
National Gallery of Australia Purchased 1995

Australian Surrealism

Level 1, Surrealiam
One of the finest collections of Australian Surrealism, now on display in a dedicated room.

James Gleeson Spain 1951
National Gallery of Australia
Purchased with the assistance of James Agapitos OAM and Ray Wilson OAM, 2007

Australian Modernism

Level 1, Moderns
See Modernist artists such as Grace Cossington Smith, Margaret Preston, and Clarice Beckett.

Grace Cossington Smith The Bridge in building 1929–30
National Gallery of Australia Gift of Ellen Waugh 2005

Emerging Elders

Level 1, Project Gallery
Discover the dynamic and stunning contemporary works by senior Indigenous artists.

Harry Tjutjuna
Wangka Tjukurpa (Spiderman) 2007
National Gallery of Australia
Purchased 2008


Lower Ground level, National Australia Bank Sculpture Gallery & outside, near Lake Burley Griffin
The grand National Australia Bank Sculpture Gallery includes Constantin Brancusi�s sublime Birds in space and other great contemporary works. Outside in the Sculpture Garden enjoy works by Auguste Rodin and other international and Australian artists.

Constantin Brancusi Bird in space c1931–36
National Gallery of Australia
Purchased 1973 © Constantin Brancusi. Licensed by ADAGP & VISCOPY, Australia

Collection tours

Daily at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2.00 pm and 2:30 pm


National Gallery
New Look 2010

National Gallery of Australia New Look 2010

The Gallery apologises for any inconvenience caused by the current building work, but it is all in a good cause. In winter 2010, the National Gallery will open its new building and entrance, including:

  • ten specially designed galleries to showcase the largest collection of Indigenous Australian art in the world
  • a new and expanded Gallery Shop
  • a 380-seat function hall for special events
  • an Australian native garden featuring a monumental pyramid-shaped Skyspace designed by renowned American artist James Turrell.

Image above: Ramingining Artists The Aboriginal Memorial 1987–88, National Gallery of Australia