From the Archives: A history of the NGA in posters – Part II

Simon Underschultz, Research Library & Archives Special Collections Officer, takes us back to the 80s with a selection of exhibition posters from Gallery’s trove of promotional material.

Following the early collection exhibitions held at the Australian National University and the much-anticipated opening of the National Gallery building in 1982 — as shown in Part I of this series — it was full steam ahead for the new national institution. With the building complete, the 80s saw the Gallery begin to display its own well-established collection along with significant travelling exhibitions and loans from across the world.

The exhibition posters in our archives are so great in the way they allow us to look back and reflect on the impact these shows had on the cultural landscape at the time.

‘The Screenprint’ 1 June — 30 November 1983, featuring Richard Hamilton ‘Adonis in Y Fronts’ 1963, purchased 1982
‘The Entombed Warriors’ 10–18 September 1983
‘Fred Williams: The Pilbara Series 1979–1981’ 3 April — 1 June 1985 featuring Fred Williams ‘Red landscape’ 1981 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Presented through the NGV Foundation by Rio Tinto, Honorary Life Benefactor, 2001 © Estate of Fred Williams
‘Twentieth Century Masters from the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York’ 1 March — 27 April 1986 featuring Henri Matisse ‘Nasturtiums with the Painting “Dance” I’ 1912, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Scofield Thayer 1982 © 2020 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
‘Ancestors and Spirits: Aboriginal Painting from Arnhem Land in the 1950s and 1960s’ 28 February — 31 May 1987 featuring Mithinarri Gurruwiwi ‘The Great Snake story’ 1962, purchased 1984 © the estate of the artist licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd
‘The Prints of Margaret Preston’ 8 August — 18 October 1987 featuring Margaret Preston ‘West Australian banksia.’ 1929, purchased from Gallery admission charges 1985 © Margaret Rose Preston Estate/Copyright Agency
‘The Art of Photography 1839–1989’ 17 June — 27 August 1989 featuring Baron Adolph de Meyer ‘Advertisement for Elizabeth Arden’ 1926, Thomas Walther Collection, New York

See Part I of this series for a selection of posters from the earliest exhibitions of the national collection, and promotional material from the opening of the Gallery in 1982.




Home to Australia's national collection of visual arts.

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National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Australia

Home to Australia's national collection of visual arts.

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