Canberra National Gallery of Australia

We asked our hosts to see an Aboriginal exhibit. We’ve enjoyed our stay in Australia, but we wanted to give a nod to the native Australia culture. Off to the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) we went.

Bonus: museum is free. There was a traveling exhibit from the Tate (London) which required tickets but the rest is open to all. Knowing my history with art museums, we skipped the tickets.

NGA has two Australian exhibits of note: collections of Australian art. The collections varied from Victorian era Impressionist paintings to modern sculptures and photography.

Indigenous art. The pieces are also wide ranging in time period. NGA holds the largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art so I can imagine how much rotation they had. Interestingly, they had a warning at the entrance to their earlier pieces:

Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people are advised that they may see images and names of recently deceased Indigenous people. All such references have been reproduced with the permission of the appropriate representative family members, where possible. 

Definitely a cultural sensitivity.

NGA does not explain the differences between Indigenous groups. Their focus is exhibiting art, and giving necessary description of the artist and artwork. If one wishes to understand Aboriginal culture and tribes, this is not the place to come.

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