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National arts and history? Yes, please

27 May 2015

Recent research shows that two thirds of all Australians have a sterling interest in the arts and Australian history.

This is just one of the promising findings to arise from the National Portrait Gallery’s commissioned snapshot of its national brand awareness, via a nationally representative survey.

Director of External Relations at the Portrait Gallery, Ms Diana O’Neil, was thrilled with the results of the survey.

‘This information is inspiring. It reinforces that the arts are an important interest to Australian people and that institutions like the Portrait Gallery are an asset to Australian society,’ said Ms O’Neil. ‘A third of all Australians are aware of the National Portrait Gallery and further confirm that, while still young, the Portrait Gallery is serving Australians well, communicating broadly and providing an organisation that allows so many in the nation to enjoy the national culture.’

The Portrait Gallery is particularly enthusiastic about a number of other findings revealed in the report:

  • 7 in 10 Australians believe that the Gallery’s purpose is an important one: ‘to increase the understanding and appreciation of the Australian people … through portraits’
  • a fifth have engaged in some way in the past two years
  • and two fifths say they are likely to do so in future – half of these would be doing so for the first time

Pleasingly, 25% of those with only some or no interest in the arts or Australian history say they’re likely to engage with the Gallery in the future. This demonstrates the success of the Gallery in broadening the reach Australian arts and history beyond just aficionados.

The research was conducted through Jigsaw Research. Mr Nick Palmer, Head of Quantitative Insights and Strategy commented, ‘these are encouraging results for the Portrait Gallery, and it’s particularly impressive to see that an institution whose physical presence is geographically distant for most Australians can still drive strong engagement levels.’