Menu Close

The ANU Art Collection, established in 1949, comprises over 2900 paintings, sculptures, drawings, limited edition prints, and ceramic and glass objects by significant artists. Displayed throughout the ANU campus, the collection encourages creative, cultural and intellectual engagement, promoting visual literacy and enriching student life through exposure to pleasurable, challenging and diverse aesthetic expression. The ANU is custodian to one of the finest and most wide-ranging collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art held by any Australian university, and these exemplary works serve to advance the status, recognition and lives of Australia’s First Nations Peoples.

A highlight of the collection is Sidney Nolan’s nine-panel Riverbend (1964-65), permanently housed in the Drill Hall Gallery. It is considered to be one of Canberra’s must-see art destinations.

For more information or if you have any requests regarding the ANU Art Collection please contact the curator of the collection.

Gifts to the Art Collection

Much of the growth of the Collection in recent years has been due to the great generosity of people wishing to gift artworks to the University. Gifts to the Collection are eligible for the tax incentives provided by the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.

The ANU Art Collection Acquisitions Advisory Committee determines the acceptability of gifts to the Collection according to the acquisitions policy. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the curator of the collection.


Sidney Nolan, Riverbend, 1964-65, oil on composition board, nine panels, 153 x 122 cm each. Photo: Ben Wrigley.


Message on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content

We respectfully advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that this database includes images that may be of a culturally sensitive nature. All efforts have been made to ensure that restricted works are not included. This website may contain terms that reflect the period in which the item was created and may be considered inappropriate today. These are a reflection of past practices only and do not reflect the attitudes of the Australian National University.

The ANU is committed to making as much of the collection available online as possible. Please note some of these records contain images of First Nations people and cultural practices. Please contact us if you have reason to believe any of these records contain sensitive, secret/sacred, and/or restricted content, and therefore should not be publicly available.


The Australian National University (ANU) respects the rights of artists and copyright holders. Every effort is made to gain permission for the use of the images within our collection by contacting the copyright holders and where necessary withdraw images immediately on request of the copyright holder if so requested.

By accessing the collection webpages, the images and information therein, you agree to their use on this website in accordance with the Australian Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968 and its amendments. No image or information displayed on this site may be reproduced, transmitted or copied (other than for the purposes of fair dealing, as defined in the Copyright Act) without the ANU’s permission. Contravention is an infringement of the Copyright Act.

Requests for the publication and use of images from the ANU Art Collection should be made in writing to the Art Collection. 

The ANU Art Collection online archive will be available for viewing soon. It will include details of significant donations to the ANU Art Collection and a broad selection of works from the Collection.

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.