Go to top of page

Collection Management

During the year the registration, art handling and storage team focused on packing the collection for its long-term preservation and further increasing the efficiency of the spatial footprint for the collection. Staff created 444 storage boxes and crates which housed 1,187 works or parts of works of art.

As part of improving space rationalisation, a pilot program began which involved replacing extant wooden storage cupboards for the Illustrated Books Collection with metal compactus units. 750 books were housed into newly made, bespoke archival boxes which were clearly labelled for greater ease of identification and access and placed within the shelves of the compactus.

Collection reach
A full list of exhibitions is at Appendix A and further information on the National Gallery’s exhibitions – future, present and past – is available at nga.gov.au.

In addition to its own exhibitions and displays on–site and exhibitions that tour nationally and internationally, the Gallery has an active program of lending art from its collection, including for exhibition by other institutions and for display in official residences.

Research and publishing
The National Gallery conducts a significant amount of research on its collection, exhibitions and activities every year. This research is published by the Gallery in its books, magazine and education resources and on its website nga.gov.au, and it informs public lectures, talks and conference papers delivered at the Gallery and around the world.

Staff also contribute their knowledge and experience to specialised advisory boards and committees. Staff participate in conferences and are cited nationally and internationally as leaders in their field. Information on the Gallery’s major publishing activities and symposiums, staff contributions to external publications and papers presented by staff throughout the year is at Appendix B.

Many works from the national collection are reproduced in the Gallery’s publications and online platforms each year, reaching millions of people. This year 831 works of art from the national collection were featured across the Joan Mitchell: Worlds of Colour exhibition catalogue and Printed: Images by Australian artists 1942 – 2020. The children’s book Every Heart Sings by Patricia Piccinini featured all newly commissioned works, and the two print runs of the exhibition catalogue Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London sold out.

During the year, the Gallery processed 173 requests for 487 images of works in the national collection for publication in printed books, academic journals and exhibition catalogues. An increased interest in research requests and personal projects was noted due to further lockdowns across the globe. The most popular works requested were Jackson Pollock’s Blue poles followed by installation imagery
of The Aboriginal Memorial by Ramingining artists, and Arthur Streeton’s Golden summer, Eaglemont.