National Gallery of Australia
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National Gallery of Australia information
On entering this impressive gallery, you will be confronted with one of its most extraordinary exhibits, an Aboriginal Memorial from Central Arnhem Land that was created for the nation's bicentenary in 1988. The work of 43 artists, this 'forest of souls' presents 200 hollow log coffins (one for every year of European settlement) and is one of the gallery's many works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Also on show is Australian art from the colonial to contemporary period and three galleries showcasing art from the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China, Japan and Central Asia. Together, these form the country's most important and comprehensive collection of Asian art. There's also a notable collection of Pacific art and a collection of European and American works with a few knock-out pieces.
There is a ground-floor cafe and a gallery shop where you will be able to source a tasteful souvenir or two to take home. Behind the building is a somewhat scruffy sculpture garden and a restaurant (open noon-2pm Wed-Sun).
Consider taking advantage of a free guided tour – check the website for details. Note that visiting exhibitions usually attract an admission fee.