Gifted to the people of Australia by Sir Sidney Nolan, The Nolan Collection includes iconic works from the Kelly series and very much more...
Explore full Nolan Collection More about the collection

In 1974 Sidney Nolan donated a selection of 24 works to the people of Australia. The donation included 15 paintings from the 1940s Kelly series, as well as other iconic works from the 1940s and 1950s such as the first work in the Burke and Wills series and two works from the St Kilda series which preceded the Kelly paintings. These works, known as ‘The Foundation Collection’, were displayed at Lanyon until 2007.

Kelly and horse

Nolan continued to donate and loan works to supplement the original 1974 donation until his death in 1992.

From 2007 The Nolan Collection has been stored and displayed at Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG). The Nolan Collection is managed by the ACT Government, on behalf of the Commonwealth Government which remains the owner of the works.

In 2013 the Australian Government funded this project to create a new online portal to the entire 141 works of The Nolan Collection.

CMAG has worked closely with local firm Icelab and the University of Canberra’s Centre for Creative and Cultural Research to realise what we hope you will find is an exciting new way to access this enduringly significant collection of Australian art.

Burke and Wills expedition

The Foundation Collection

Permanent display of the initial 24 works that Sidney Nolan gifted to the people of Australia in 1974.

  • Foundation collection
  • This permanent exhibition of iconic images from The Foundation Collection includes some of Nolan’s earliest paintings from the Kelly, Burke and Wills and St Kilda series; alongside fine examples of the artist’s central Australian landscape and carcass works.

    ABOVE: Burke and Wills expedition

    Foundation Collection

    Above: Kelly


    Above: Generalised - boy

    Term of his natural life

    Above: The prison ship 'Malabar'


    Above: Untitled


    Above: Moor-hen

    Remembrances of my youth

    Above: Untitled

    What’s On

    Canberra Museum and Gallery offers a range of community programs to excite curiosity about, and understanding of, the Nolan Collection. We provide discovery-based learning experiences ranging from workshops to more formal forums and lectures.

    Nolan Community Programs

    Canberra Museum and Gallery offers a range of community programs to excite curiosity about, and understanding of, the Nolan Collection


    Canberra Museum and Gallery offers innovative education programs to inspire students and support teachers. We provide positive and meaningful education experiences encompassing: onsite gallery tours and studio based activities, outreach programs in the classroom, and online education resources.