The Commonwealth Art Advisory Board recommended that Laurie Thomas, a former director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia and of the Queensland Art Gallery be appointed director, but the Prime Minister John Gorton took no action on this recommendation, as he apparently favoured the appointment of James Johnson Sweeney, although he was already 70. James Mollison was exhibitions officer in the Prime Minister's Department from 1969 and the Government's failure to appoint a director of the National Gallery of Australia required Mollison to become involved in the development of the design for the building with the architects led by Colin Madigan.
The new Prime Minister, William McMahon announced the appointment of Mollison as acting director of the National Gallery of Australia in October 1971.
The Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, announced on 13 December 2006 that the Australian Government would provide $92.9 million for a major building enhancement project at the National Gallery of Australia, including around $20 million for previously approved building refurbishments.
During his directorship, the National Gallery of Australia gained government support for improving the building and significant private donations and corporate sponsorship.
Kennedy's cancellation of the Sensation exhibition (scheduled at the National Gallery of Australia from 2 June 2000 to 13 August 2000) was controversial, as it was seen by many as censorship.
In October 2014, it was announced that Gerard Vaughan would be the new director of the National Gallery of Australia from 10 November.
The collection of the National Gallery of Australia includes: This collection is dominated by the Aboriginal Memorial of 200 painted tree trunks commemorating all the indigenous people who had died between 1788 and 1988 defending their land against invaders.
Know My Name is "an initiative of the National Gallery of Australia to celebrate the significant contributions of Australian women artists".
In 1992, he acquired the artwork, which was donated to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra in 2010.
Cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia and The Australiana Fund, have lent much of the furniture and art objects gracing the house.
In 1988 the Aboriginal Memorial was unveiled at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra made from 200 hollow log coffins, which are similar to the type used for mortuary ceremonies in Arnhem Land.
The National Gallery of Australia exhibits a great many indigenous art works, including those of the Torres Strait Islands who are known for their traditional sculpture and headgear.
The National Gallery of Australia, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales have major strengths in collecting the art of the Asia Pacific Region.
Many of their most recognisable works can be seen in Australia's major public galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
in 1995, the National Gallery of Australia acquired Streeton's Golden Summer, Eaglemont (1889) from a private owner for $3.5 million, then a record price for an Australian painting.
Another maquette was donated to the National Gallery of Australia in 2009, and stands in its Sculpture Garden.
Rear view of Angel of the North (man-size maquette) at the National Gallery of Australia.