The Drill Hall was built in 1940 to train soldiers for the Second World War. In 1984 the interior was superbly remodelled to create an art gallery which is considered one of the most beautiful of its kind. In 2004 a Heritage order was placed on the building.
While the National Gallery of Australia waited for the completion of its building, temporary exhibitions of the national collection were held here. In 1992 The Australian National University took over the Drill Hall Gallery as a showcase for its own art collection and as a venue for temporary exhibitions.
With a proud tradition of impeccably presented landmark exhibitions accompanied by scholarly publications, The Drill Hall Gallery is a venue of choice for many of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, curators and collectors.
The Gallery supports the arts in the Canberra region by presenting exhibitions developed in conjunction with the University’s wide-ranging academic interests and or to coincide with major conferences and public events. National and international exhibitions – and works from the University’s own extensive collection – are features of the Gallery’s program.
Sidney Nolan’s 9-panel panorama, Riverbend (recently nominated among the ten must-see art treasures of Canberra) is on permanent display in Gallery 4.