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Influence and Advocacy

The National Gallery’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is currently being developed which will be a key tool in driving actions that will contribute toward positive cultural change across the institution. In February and March, the National Gallery underwent a formal procurement to engage a First Nations service provider to deliver content for a draft RAP in collaboration with the RAP Working Group. Canberra-based organisation, Coolamon Advisors, will guide RAP development process, conduct background research and consultation with Reconciliation Australia, guide and facilitate appropriate collaboration and co-design activities with internal and external stakeholders, and assist the National Gallery to identify priority actions for inclusion in the RAP.

Stakeholder workshops for the development of the Reconciliation Action Plan will be held through August and September 2021 with a revised dated of December 2021 for a draft RAP.

The ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Rights and Engagement Policy’ is currently being reviewed and its re-drafting has been earmarked as a priority action through the Reconciliation Action Plan.

The exhibition Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London represented a first-of-its-kind partnership with the National Gallery, London, which has never lent such a significant body of work for tour. Through careful planning and collaboration, made more complex by travel and operational limitations due to COVID-19, the partnership between the national galleries of both Australia and London and Art Exhibitions Australia was successful.

0riginally planned for November 2020, Botticelli to Van Gogh opened in March 2021 and was the first major international exhibition in Australia since COVID-19 closed international borders in March 2020. The 61 works in the exhibition are the largest number ever to travel outside of the United Kingdom in the National Gallery’s 197-year history. The exhibition ranged from masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, through the age of the European Baroque, to highlights of British painting and early 20th-century Post-Impressionism and included works by 57 of the world’s most famous and admired artists including Botticelli, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, El Greco, Velazquez, Goya, Turner, Constable, Van Dyke, Gainsborough, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin and van Gogh.