Capital and country: the Federation years 1900–1914

Sydney Long 'Flamingoes' 1907 oil on canvas National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, acquired with the assistance of the Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2006 Reproduced with the kind permission of the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia

Capital and country: the Federation years 1900–1914 is the National Gallery of Australia’s first major exhibition to focus on Australian painting from this formative era of the nation’s history. Drawing together the art of a newly federated Australia with the work of Australians residing in Europe, the 46 works in this exhibition invite viewers on a journey from the Australian bush to the bohemian enclaves of London and Paris.

Well-known and loved paintings from the national collection – scarcely off display in Canberra – by Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, George W. Lambert and Hans Heysen are brought together with lesser-known works, including paintings recently acquired, conserved or appropriately reframed, as well as works not usually on display at the Gallery due to the limitations of space for permanent displays.

Three works from the national collections of the Parliament of Australia and the National Library of Australia have also generously been lent to tell the stories of this era. A luminous sketch by Tom Roberts from National Library of Australia captures the historic moment of the opening of Australia’s first Federal Parliament in 1901. Theodore Penleigh Boyd (1890−1923) and William Lister Lister’s (1859−1943) grand depictions of the pastoral plains announced as the site for the nation’s capital Canberra in 1913 have been lent from their permanent home in the foyer of Parliament House in Canberra especially for this national tour.

General admission: $8
Members/concession: $5
Children under 12: Free
Pre-booked education groups: Free

For further information about the exhibition -


Touring Organisation and Exhibition Sponsors


Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Cooks Hill