After three years in the making, the National Gallery of Australia has finally revealed its stunning new $100 million entrance and indigenous art wing.
Governor-General Quentin Bryce officially opened the additions last night before a buzzing VIP crowd of about 1000 people.
The Stage One building, as it is officially known, features a new entrance and foyer, shop, cafe, function and event space and, most importantly, 11 galleries to showcase the world’s largest collection of Australian indigenous art.
It’s the largest redevelopment of the building since it was opened by the Queen in 1982, and features materials from around Australia, including South Australian Mintaro slate, Queensland red ironbark and translucent Chillago white marble on the foyer wall.
The Aboriginal art wing is open to the public from today.
In his opening address, a relaxed director Ron Radford said the wing had been added with minimal disruption to the main building and gallery activities.
But for the collection’s senior curator, Francesca Cubillo, it was the 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands artists who had flown to Canberra for the event whose opinions mattered the most.
To read Ms Cubillo’s comments on her hopes that indigenous people will feel proud of the galleries and for a detailed story on the development of the new entrance and foyer, see the print edition of today’s Canberra Times.