Queensland National Art Gallery

Queensland Art Gallery

The Queensland Art Gallery (formerly Queensland National Art Gallery) is part of the Queensland Cultural Centre, and is located nearest to Brisbane River at South Bank. The Queensland Art Gallery is adjacent to the Queensland Museum and is Queensland's premier visual arts institution and a leading art museum nationally.


The Gallery's philosophy is to connect art and people. It is a symbol of the State’s artistic and cultural development and has human qualities and unique attractions which encourage people to visit the collections.


The Gallery was established in 1895 as the Queensland National Art Gallery. Throughout its early history the Gallery was housed in a series of temporary premises, and did not have a permanent home until the opening of its current architecturally-acclaimed building on Brisbane's South Bank in 1982, the first stage of the monumental Robin Gibson-designed Queensland Cultural Centre.


Since opening, the Gallery's Collection, exhibitions, audiences and programs have grown in size, complexity and diversity. To cater for the community's future needs, during the 1990s the Gallery embarked on extensive research and wide consultation, resulting in the concept of a second building.

The outdoor feature pool, called the Watermall, is extended to the inside of the building, as a special feature within the building.

As well as having a permanent display of fine paintings and sculptures, the Queensland Art Gallery also holds many art exhibitions, by both international and national artists.

Occasionally, concerts are held at the Queensland Art Gallery. The Queensland Art Gallery also has a cafe which is open to the public.


The Queensland Art Gallery was considered to be a building of its time for it incorporated the best techniques and materials available within the economic limits of the project. It was also the first major building to be built on the south side of the river adjacent to the new Victoria Bridge, which established a benchmark of scale and quality for future buildings.

The Queensland Art Gallery is a 4700 square metre display space broken down with walls and barriers that interchange between the art world and the public. The walls have been placed purposely to create flow and change of course of the viewer’s journey. The primary orientation element of the Gallery’s design is the Watermall that separates the tranquil environment of the exhibition galleries from the proactive environments of the administration, education and library areas. The varying ceilings heights and floor levels, colour and textured surfaces enhance variety and define the sequence of display areas yet it does not assist with clearly identifying the main public entrance for it can be a mystery to find. Here the design fails as the element of greatest importance for a major public building is not adequately addressed. Nonetheless, the entrance foyer efficiently acts as a hub for the public circulation and main access point for arrivals and departures for all visitors where they are able to select which collections they plan to visit. The buildings use of light coloured and maintenance free materials such as cement reflect and adapt to the Mediterranean- like quality of Brisbane’s sub tropical climate.

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art

The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, which was opened at Kurilpa Point on 2 December, 2006, complements the Queensland Art Gallery. Only 200 metres away and linked by a public plaza, the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art will focus on the art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

The Gallery's flagship project is the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art series of exhibitions, now a major event on the national and international arts calendar. The expertise developed over the past decade in staging the Triennial has led to the establishment of the Australian Centre of Asia-Pacific Art (ACAPA), to foster alliances, scholarship and publishing, and the formation of an internationally significant collection of art from the Asia-Pacific region.

Indigenous Art

Similarly, the Gallery is committed to profiling Indigenous Australian art and strengthening relationships with Queensland's Indigenous communities.

Art for Children

The Gallery is also recognised as an international leader in presenting innovative museum-based learning programs for children. These programs are coordinated through the Children's Art Centre. Developing youth audiences for visual art is another priority for the Gallery and this is achieved through programs such as the annual Prime event.

To ensure all Queenslanders have access to the Collection, travelling exhibitions tour to regional and remote centres of the state.

Management Structure

The Gallery's governing body is a Board of Trustees appointed by the Queensland Government, and it is managed by an Executive Management Team.

Opening Hours

The Queensland Art Gallery is open to the public seven days a week.


External links

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