Collins St., 5 pm

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Collins St., 5 pm
Collins Street 5 pm .jpg
Artist John Brack
Year 1955
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 114.6 cm × 162.9 cm (45.1 in × 64.1 in)
Location National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Collins St., 5 pm is a 1955 painting by Australian artist John Brack. The painting depicts office workers walking along busy Collins Street in Melbourne after finishing work for the day—"Blank-faced office workers hurry by like sleep-walkers, thinking only of the pubs or their homes in the suburbs".[1] Brack conceived the work after reading T. S. Elliot's The Waste Land.[2] It is considered a companion piece to Brack's earlier work, The Bar.[3]

The painting was purchased from Peter Bray Gallery[4] for the National Gallery of Victoria's permanent Australian art collection and is exhibited in the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square in Melbourne.[5]

Looking back on his iconic picture ... Brack found it to be “totally unsatisfactory”, because of the condescending attitude he adopted in relation to the people in the street. “I should have known,” he said, “that their lives were just as complex as mine, if not more so.”

— Art critic, John McDonald, [1]

In 2011, Collins St., 5 pm was voted the most popular work in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.[6]


  1. ^ a b McDonald, John (6 June 2009). "John Brack". John McDonald. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Engberg, Juliana, 'Collins Street, 5pm: John Brack's enduring cultural icon', Art and Australia, vol. 34, no. 4, 1997, pp. 513-17.
  3. ^ "Gallery buys The Bar". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "In 1953, he had his first solo exhibition at Peter Bray's Gallery in Melbourne. Collins Street was exhibited at the same gallery in March 1956 and was immediately purchased by the NGV." McKiernan, M. (2010). 'John Brack Collins Street 5 pm, 1955'. Occupational Medicine, 60(2), 88-89.
  5. ^ National Gallery of Victoria Acquisition 1956

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