Issue 155 | February 2012
Renaissance | Penguins and Ice | Members news | Events | Exclusive offers
01 Renaissance 15th and 16th century
paintings from the
Accademia Carrara,

The Renaissance exhibition is now open until 7pm on Friday and Saturday evenings. The last session is at 6pm. Also, a reminder that the morning sessions are the busiest. We suggest an afternoon visit for a quieter experience.

The Renaissance public programs really ramp up in February and offer many opportunities to enrich your experience the exhibition. Visit our website for a full listing of Renaissance events. Highlights include:

Introduction to Renaissance
Each Tuesday night from
7 February – 27 March 2012
An informative thirty minute introduction to Renaissance by an NGA staff member, and exclusive exhibition viewing after hours. Guides will be on hand after the lecture to answer questions and provide guided tours of the exhibition.

Bookings essential.
$40, $35 members/concession bookings through Ticketek.

Renaissance Premium Experience
Saturday & Sunday 9am – 10am
Avoid the crowds and experience the exhibition with a limited number of visitors. Now also with the option of breakfast in the Sculpture Garden Restaurant.

Bookings essential.
$50, $45 members. bookings through Ticketek.

San Remo Chef & Curator Dinner
Saturday 3 and 10 March 2012
The NGA will be holding two special evenings to combine your love of art and food.  Your exclusive evening of Italian art, food and culture will begin with a viewing of the Renaissance exhibition, followed by drinks and a specially created 3 course dinner with the Curator of the exhibition, Christine Dixon and the Gallery’s Executive Chef, James Kidman as well as special guest entertainment.  The dinner package will include a Renaissance Catalogue or an autographed copy of James Kidman’s Renaissance Table cookbook.

On sale now through Ticketek.$250 per person, $235 per person NGA members

Giovan Battista Moroni 'Portrait of a child of the house of Redetti' c.1570 Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, legacy of Guglielmo Lochis 1866

Title image: Bartolomeo Vivarini 'Saint Michael' from 'Scanzo polyptych' 1488 (detail) Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, bequest of Giacomo Carrara 1796

02 Penguins
and Ice Photographs of Antarctica 1910�2010

Have you enjoyed following the coverage of the Aurora Australis' voyage to Commonwealth Bay? Penguins and Ice: Photographs of Antarctica 1910–2010 is currently on display and coincides with the centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition [AAE] led by Australian scientist Douglas Mawson.

Antarctica has long been a region that has fascinated and captivated imaginations, a place that is high in our national consciousness. The stories of the heroic and at times tragic early explorations have become the stuff of legends.

The National Gallery has a fine holding of stunning large carbon prints by Englishman Herbert Ponting, who accompanied the expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott beginning in 1910; and by Australian Frank Hurley, who was official recorder of for the 1911-14 AAE.  That these photographers, armed with large glass plate cameras, were able to capture the images they did is nothing short of miraculous.

Accompanying these photographs are more recent images of the region by American Eliot Porter, Australians David Stephenson and Peter Dombrovskis and New Zealanders Anne Noble and Megan Jenkinson.

Penguins and Ice: Photographs of Antarctica 1910–2010 is on display on level 1 until March 25

Herbert Ponting ‘The "Terra Nova" icebound’ 1910 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2000

Title image: Peter Dombrovskis ‘King Island penguins near Sandy Bay, Macquarie Island’ 1984 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2002 © Liz Dombrovskis

03 Members news

Our new online membership portal is now up and running.  As members you can now login and renew your membership, purchase the gift of membership and update your personal contact details. You should have received a username and password by email in mid December which you can use to login. With our new system now operational members who have provided an email address will receive their renewal notice by email. We have also launched our new Special Offers page for members. This page will be updated regularly with exclusive member’s offers from our partner organisations. 

In mid February we will be asking a number of members who will be randomly selected to take part in a short survey about the National Gallery of Australia. If selected you will receive an email from us asking for your feedback. We do appreciate your assistance with this.

We still have a number of members events scheduled for Renaissance - including our members exclusive viewing on February 16th.  Places are limited, so be sure to book soon so you don't miss out.

04 Event
highlights Go to calendar
for all events





children FOR MEMBERS







05 Congratulations
Tyler!Kenneth Tyler Printmaking Collection

December was a busy month indeed for Kenneth Tyler. Not only did he celebrate his eightieth birthday, he was also honoured with an Order of Australia for his services to the Arts in this country, particularly through the Kenneth Tyler Printmaking Collection here at the National Gallery. This collection, which contains over 7000 editioned prints from some of the most celebrated artists of post-war America, is a valuable resource for the Gallery and one that we are striving to share with the nation – and the world – through our website and social media accounts.

Title image: Steven Sloman, Kenneth Tyler in front of Frank Stella's mixed media print 'Juam', 1997 (detail)

Take a moment to browse by following the links below:

NGA's Kenneth Tyler Collection website, Tyler Collection on twitter and Kenneth Tyler Collection Blog

Congratulations Ken, and Happy 80th Birthday!

Caption: John Wagner, Kenneth Tyler inking the stone for Claes Oldenburg's 'Chicago Stuffed with Numbers' lithograph, Tyler Graphics workshop, Bedford Village, New York, 1976

06 Stars of
the Tokyo stage Lucie Folan in Asian Art
tells us about her trip to Japan’s premier theatre company, Shochiku,
to view kabuki costumes

I love arriving in Tokyo, but on a humid morning last July I was especially enthusiastic. I was in Japan to view costumes owned by Shochiku – Japan’s premier theatre company – for purchase and inclusion in Stars of the Tokyo stage, an exhibition focussing on kabuki through the superb actor prints of Natori Shunsen (1886–1960).

Some time ago, the Gallery’s Asian art curators decided that showing extravagant robes along with the prints would more vividly bring the visual spectacle of kabuki – with its exaggerated acting style and fabulous cross-dressing actors – to life. However, acquiring the robes proved difficult as the expensive garments are used until they become too damaged for the stage and therefore rarely offered for sale. It was through contacts in Japan, and luck, that Shochiku heard about the Gallery’s interest and began to entertain the unprecedented idea of selling some costumes.

So, after months of correspondence, I found myself at the very ordinary office of the Shochiku Costume Company. Stepping behind a partition to see two gorgeous robes on display, I immediately knew that the National Gallery of Australia should represent this magnificent art form. For two hours I was treated to professional kabuki dressers expertly draping the weighty costumes and explaining the designs and intricacies of presentation.

Natori Shunsen (1886–1960) ‘Matsumoto Koshiro VII as Benkei in The subscription list' 1935 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2011

The day before returning home, I attended Shochiku performances of the kabuki plays The subscription list and Yoshitsune and the thousand cherry trees, the perfect end to a whirlwind Tokyo trip.

In late 2011 the Gallery acquired seven kabuki robes from the Shochiku Theatre Company. The costumes will be shown in Stars of the Tokyo stage, due to tour Australian venues from mid 2012.

Join Lucie Folan, Curator, Asian Art for a free lunchtime talk on Stars of the Tokyo stage: the art of kabuki 16 February 12.45 pm.

Shochiku theatre company ‘Kabuki robe for an akahime (red princess) character’ c. 2000 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 2011

07 Summer Scholarship 2012

In mid-January the 2012 Summer Scholarship represented a great opportunity for 16 students, two from each Australian State and Territory, all commencing Year 12 in this academic year, to immerse themselves in art and the Gallery experience. The Renaissance exhibition provided the inspiration for many of the activities in which the students participated during this intensive week. Art-making activities included life-drawing classes, landscape and perspective-drawing sessions in the hills around Canberra.

A photographic work titled Sun Picture II by South Australian artist Mark Kimber was the work chosen for the students to respond to for their applications to be part of the Scholarship and Kimber came to Canberra to meet the scholars, discuss his work and conduct a photographic workshop.

In addition to curatorial tours of the Gallery’s collection on display, the scholars had the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes, into the conservation, registration and art storage areas, in order to gain an understanding of the workings of a large cultural institution. The week culminated in an exhibition of the works the students produced during their immersive art experience. The annual Summer Scholarship demonstrates to participants the scope and benefits of a future career in the visual arts, whether it be as a practitioner or a gallery professional.

View more images for this year's Summer Scholarship on Flickr.

08 Renaissance family
room 15th and 16th century
paintings from the
Accademia Carrara,

The Family Activity Room within the Renaissance exhibition has proven a great success with visitors of all ages. Children in particular have embraced the activities on offer in the room that bring the exhibition to life. The task of constructing and decorating buildings for an Italian landscape has been incredibly popular, with a high density, yet ever-changing, hill-top town developing as more diverse buildings are added by visitors.

People are actively exploring the concept of one-point perspective in the room through the interactive space and by rendering this optical illusion, evident in many paintings in the exhibition, and through drawing, sometimes leaving their works in a growing portfolio of artworks in the Family Room for other visitors to enjoy.

The self-portrait drawing activity available in the room, inspired by the many portraits in the Renaissance exhibition, has a framed portrait wall that is constantly refreshed with images of visitors to the exhibition. Come along and add your own work of art. The Renaissance Family Activity Room is open everyday and is free after exhibition entry.

View some of the perspective drawings and portrait drawings created in the Renaissance family activity room on Flickr.

09 Around
the country
interstate events
and travelling

New South Wales
Australian portraits 1880–1960 | Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea (Sydney), 3 December 2011 – 29 January 2012.

Space invaders: australian . street . stencils . posters . paste-ups . zines . stickers | Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, 18 November – 18 March 2012.

The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn gift: Red and Yellow cases | Goulburn Regional Gallery, Goulburn NSW, 30 January –-
28 February 2012

Australian Capital Territory
The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn gift: Blue case | ArtsAbility, Canberra ACT, 13 February –
13 March 2012

South Australia
The Elaine and Jim Wolfensohn gift: 1888 Melbourne cup | City of Holdfast Bay Glenelg SA,
2 February – 14 March 2012

In the spotlight: Anton Bruehl photographs 1920s–1950s | QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, QLD, 18 February – 15 April 2012

Australian portraits 1880–1960 | Gladstone Regional Art Gallery, Gladstone QLD, 11 February – 12 May 2012

E. Phillips Fox ‘The green parasol’ c.1912 travelling as part of 'Australian portraits 1880–1960', National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 1946

10 Listen

Listen in to your ABC Local Radio station and Classic FM this February for your chance to win the ultimate Renaissance experience! You could join ABC Nightlife’s Tony Delroy, Classic FM’s Emma Ayres and National Gallery Director Ron Radford for a special viewing of the exhibition followed by a cocktail function. The prize also includes return flights from your nearest capital city, two night’s accommodation, including breakfast, and a complimentary exhibition catalogue.

11 Members

Australia’s global classical sensation, the Tinalley String Quartet unveils its 2012 National Concert Series program.  A dynamic season that bears witness to the tremendous breadth of repertoire that the string quartet genre has to offer.  Join Tinalley as its excites, inspires and delights with the music of Haydn, Dvorak, Brahms, Schumann, Shostakovich, Beethoven, Barber and John Adams.

Subscription packages start from only $102 with National Gallery of Australia members receiving an additional 10% discount.  Simply quote ‘NGA’ when booking online or by telephone to receive the members discount. 

Visit for further information or contact Canberra Ticketing on 02 6275 2700 or

Tinalley acknowledges its ACT partners: National Gallery of Australia, Novotel Canberra

11 Exclusive

Eckersley’s Art & Craft is a proud supporter of the National Gallery of Australia’s Big Draw and Sculpture Garden Sunday events. Eckersley’s is offering artonline subscribers over $60% off Canson Visual Journals*.

Canson Visual Journals
240 x 320mm in a variety of colours. Were $15.95, Now $5.95

*Available for purchase from Eckersley’s ACT stores only until from 30.01.2011 - 29.2.12, while stocks last. Mention NGA to receive your special discount.

12 Canberra

Multicultural Festival and Windows on Europe Film Festival
Early February brings the National Multicultural Festival and The Windows on Europe Film Festival at Dendy Cinema to Canberra, where cultures from all over the world showcase themselves in food, drink, dance and film. The festivities run from the 10 – 12 of February and there is an expected 200,000 attending the 150 activities happening over the 3 day period.

Visiting Canberra for the Renaissance Exhibition
If you’re heading to Canberra to see the Renaissance exhibition at the NGA make sure you stay on to experience everything the city has to offer.
A short 5 min drive from the NGA, Canberra City CBD has a range of cafes, restaurants and retailers on offer.  This summer for the first time, an outdoor Roller Skating Rink will take centre stage in Garema Place where you can get your rolling skating groove on to some disco beats.