Prior to the official opening of the National Gallery building in Canberra in 1982, Blue poles toured Australia in 1974.

‘Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock’, the Australian tour was prompted by publicity surrounding the purchase of the painting by the Australian National Gallery in 1973. The painting travelled to Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 8 April – 2 June 1974, to City Hall, Brisbane 7 June – 2 August 1974, to National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 5 August – 5 October 1974, and finally to Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 7 October – 7 November 1974.

It was agreed that, wherever possible, it was desirable for the public to see the Gallery’s acquisitions – and that, as a national body, its acquisitions should be shown on an ‘Australia wide basis’.

Photograph – Comedian Paul Hogan shows his distaste for the painting Blue poles at Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1974

Photographer: John Hawryluk published in Mirror Australian telegraph publications

Blue poles Brisbane City Hall 1974 poster

City Hall Art Exhibition: Don’t miss seeing … Blue poles / Hurry last days! City Hall, Brisbane, 1974, National Gallery of Australia Research Library

Exhibition pamphlet – ‘Blue Poles’ Brisbane City Council – June-July 1974 – Statement by Clem Jones Lord Mayor of Brisbane Essay by Renee Free

Daily Mirror – Blue poles comic Creator Bluer – 9 October 1974 – Satirical Art Gallery of New South Wales

Essay on Blue Poles, April May 1974, On loan to the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Private viewing invitation – Blue Poles National Gallery of Victoria – 5 August 1974 – Opened by the Hon F Crean MP



The National Gallery of Australia acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and country.