The National Gallery of Australia is the national art museum of Australia. It is in Canberra. It holds more than 120,000 works of art in its collection. The gallery was established in 1967 by the Australian government. The construction of the building started in 1973, and cost AU$82 million. It was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982.
The gallery is northeast of Parliament House. It is near the High Court and the National Library. There are three levels of galleries. On the main floor, the galleries are large, and are used to display the collections of Indigenous Australian, European and American art. The lower level also contains a series of large galleries, used to display the Asian art collection. The topmost level contains a series of smaller galleries, which holds the gallery's collection of Australian art. A smaller building on the eastern side of the gallery holds the gallery's temporary exhibitions. It includes a sculpture garden. A major expansion of the gallery began in 2006. It included several new galleries for indigenous Australian art.
The gallery's collection of indigenous Australian art is mostly modern, but in traditional forms. It is dominated by a memorial of 200 painted tree trunks commemorating all the indigenous people who died defending their land against invaders in the 200 years between 1788 and 1988. Each trunk is a coffin, which in the Yolngu culture is used to mark the safe journey of the soul of the dead from this world to the next.
The collection of non-indigenous Australian art includes work by Frederick McCubbin, Tom Roberts, William Dobell, Sidney Nolan, and many other famous artists. The gallery's international collection is mainly focused on late-19th-century and 20th-century art. Artists represented include Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Henri Matisse. The sculpture garden contains works by Bert Flugelman, Henry Moore, Fujiko Nakaya and Auguste Rodin.