Sharing the National Collection

NGA-Sharing-the-National-Collection-Tony-Burke-MPA $174 million masterpiece by French impressionist Claude Monet will be among the first artworks shared with a regional gallery under the Australian Government’s Sharing the National Collection initiative.

The painting  Meules, milieu du jour [Haystacks, midday], 1890 – will be one of five works from the National Gallery of Australia’s collection to be shared with the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre.

Three works by iconic Australian artist Margaret Olley will also be travelling to Tweed, as well as Natura morta [Still life], 1956, by Georgio Morandi – one of Olley’s favourite artists.

As part of the record new investment in Australia’s arts sector in the 2023-24 Budget, the Sharing the National Collection program will share major artworks from the National Gallery of Australia’s collection across regional and suburban areas.

Expressions of interest for the Sharing the National Collection program will open on Monday 3 July 2023, with other regional galleries and cultural institutions encouraged to register.

Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke MP, said the Tweed pilot was an exciting first step. “Art is made to be seen, not kept in a dark room. The vast majority of the incredible works at the National Gallery of Australia are in storage at any one time,” he said.

“But with this program those works will be lit up on the walls of regional and suburban galleries across the country. I know this gallery in the Tweed well. It’s where a recreation of Margaret Olley’s home is on display, exactly as it was – so in a sense her works are coming home,” said Minister Burke.

Sharing the National Collection is part of Revive, Australia’s new national cultural policy, with $11.8m over four years to fund the costs of transporting, installing and insuring works in the national art collection so that they can be seen across the country for extended periods.

Dr Nick Mitzevich, Director of the National Gallery of Australia, said sharing a Monet with the Tweed was a brilliant way to begin the program. “This picture is a jewel in the national collection. It is the most important Monet in the country and we are delighted to be sharing it with regional Australia,” he said.

“Margaret Olley was an extremely generous patron to many galleries across the country and was a distinct champion of regional galleries through philanthropy.”

“This announcement coincides with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Margaret Olley’s birth and I cannot think of a better embodiment of this initiative, which supports galleries across the country,” said Dr Mitzevich.

Member for Richmond, Justine Elliot, said the Tweed was the perfect choice. “It’s an absolute honour for our region that five outstanding works from the National Gallery of Australia’s collection will be shared with the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre,” she said.

“This recognises our world-class gallery – a showcase of local, national, and international exhibits in beautiful Murwillumbah. The Centre is a tribute to the remarkable Margaret Olley – a national treasure who was renowned for her paintings, her generosity of spirit, and her fondness for the Northern Rivers,” said Ms Elliot.

Director for Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Susi Muddiman, said they were thrilled by the move.

“For the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, and our community, to be a part of the National Gallery of Australia’s Sharing the National Collection program is an extraordinary opportunity that can be achieved through the funding provided by Revive,” said Ms Muddiman.

“These world-class works of art will have a major impact on our community and enhance cultural tourism in our region.”

This group of works will be sent from the National Gallery progressively, with the Monet leaving in late October 2023 to go on display at Tweed for two years, and the rest of the artworks to follow in 2024.

Other galleries can register their expressions of interest via the National Gallery website from Monday 3 July 2023. For more information visit: for details.

Image: The Hon Tony Burke MP at the National Gallery with Claude Monet, Meules, milieu du jour [Haystacks, midday], 1890, National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra, purchased 1979 © National Gallery of Australia