What's in the collection?

Artist's prints

These include etchings, engravings, lithographs, linocuts, woodcuts and engravings, stencil and screenprints - usually printed in limited editions. The collection will continue to keep abreast of technological developments as they affect the printed image. Although not usually editioned, monotypes are considered artists' prints.

Artist's prints comprise more than 90 per cent of the collection. The Gallery has major holdings by such artists as George Bell, Charles Conder, Lionel Lindsay, Sydney Long, Helen Ogilvie, Margaret Preston, Christian Waller, Napier Waller, and from more recent times George Baldessin, Arthur Boyd, John Brack, Margaret Cilento, Janet Dawson, Kevin Gilbert, Guy Grey-Smith, Barbara Hanrahan, Bea Maddock, Banduk Marika, John Olsen, Mike Parr, and Fred Williams.

Where comprehensive collections of an artist's work exist in other public institutions only selected examples have been be acquired. For example, A.B. Webb in the Art Gallery of Western Australia; Lloyd Rees in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.


Travel posters

The Gallery holds a small representative collection of the best work produced for the Australian National Travel Association and similar organisations in the period 1920 to 1956. The National Library of Australia and the National Archives of Australia hold extensive archive collections.

War posters

The Gallery has a small representative collection of the best work commissioned by the Commonwealth, state governments, and other organisations during the Boer War, First and Second World Wars, Korean War and Vietnam War. The Australian War Memorial holds the archive collections.

Theater posters

The Gallery holds selective examples of other commercial posters by Australian artists such as Sidney Nolan and William Dobell.

Prints from alternative print workshops

These include posters and unlimited editioned prints produced by artists whose work embodies social/political concerns. The main focus of this collection is from 1968 to 1993, however it also includes anti-recruiting posters from the First World War and works from the Great Depression.

The National Gallery began acquiring works of this nature in 1973 and is the sole institution with extensive Australia-wide collections of material from these alternative print workshops.

Illustrated books

These consist of books, periodicals etc. illustrated by Australian artists, with an emphasis on those with images printed from the artist's original matrix.

This emphasis on images printed from the artist's matrix distinguishes this collection from the National Library of Australia collection of fine books or the collection of illustrated books held in the Hardie Special Library, Fisher Library, Queensland. The National Gallery also has an important collection of Australian artists' books.

Where is it from?


The Australasian Print Collection acknowledges the national role of the National Gallery of Australia and collects printed works produced in all states and territories. Collecting is not confined to work produced in the main urban centres. Prints produced by Australian artists resident overseas are also collected.

The Australasian Region

The Department of Australian Art has acquired historical (non-indigenous) and contemporary art of all forms from Aotearoa New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. This geographic scope was affirmed in the Gallery's Acquisition Policy (1994). There has been an ongoing interchange of artists within the Australasia region. For instance Eugene von Guérard and Nicholas Chevalier in the nineteenth century; and Frank Weitzel, Maude Sherwood, Godfrey Miller and Percy Leason in the first half of the twentieth century. Exchange exhibitions such as ANZART and ARC have developed since the 1970s and in the 1990s the Asia Pacific Triennials have provided a focus for the region.

The National Gallery of Australia now has important collections of contemporary prints from Aotearoa New Zealand (both Maori and Pakeha) and Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Pacific Islands. These have been acquired the through the Gordon Darling Australia Pacific Print Fund.

When is it from?


A small collection of prints, posters and illustrated books, mainly produced in Europe, pertaining to Australia before European settlement of the continent.

Colonial prints

Prints, posters and illustrated books pertaining to Australia produced in Europe, America, Asia and Australia from 1788 to c.1880.

From 1880

Prints, posters and illustrated books produced in Australia. Also works produced by Australian artists working overseas. For example, lithographs by Arthur Streeton from the turn of the century and screenprints by Sidney Nolan from the 1960s produced in London.

Prints produced by artists while visiting Australia. For example lithographs produced by Mario Metz when visiting Waga Waga in 1979.