Since Blue poles was purchased by the Australian Government in 1973, Australians have had a tumultuous relationship with the painting, which remains one of the most popular works of art in the national collection. Such is the demand to see the Pollock masterpiece, it is rarely off display. We invite you to share your personal memories through our social media channels using the hashtag #MyBluePoles.

Nick Mitzevich with Jackson Pollock’s 'Blue poles'

National Gallery of Australia Director Nick Mitzevich, in his custom-made Blue poles overalls, with the painting. Jackson Pollock’s Blue poles 1952 Purchased 1973 Pollock-Krasner Foundation. ARS/Copyright Agency. Photograph by Sam Cooper

‘Embarking on the ambitious Blue poles conservation project during the COVID-19 lockdown took me back to when I saw the painting for the first time. I was a university student, clutching my well-worn copy of Robert Hughes’ The Shock of the New, and when I stood in front of the work everything changed – the picture came alive and jumped off the walls.’
– Nick Mitzevich, National Gallery Director 


Where did Nick get his Blue poles overalls? Great question. In 2018, the National Gallery’s Building Services team embarked upon its greatest challenge yet! Led by the Head of Facilities Management, our painters got to work creating the ultimate National Gallery of Australia Director’s Christmas party outfit: Blue poles dungarees. But what an incredible success!


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.