The National Gallery of Victoria is a must visit in my opinion.
FREE ENTRY to what I think is the BEST Art Gallery in Australia. There is an amazing array of permanent exhibitions that include Asian Art, International Painting, Fashion & Textiles, Decorative Arts, Photography, Sculpture, Prints and Drawings, Art of Mesoamerica, Pacific Art, Religious, Antiquities, Indigenous art, Australian Fashion & Textiles, Multimedia, Photography, Decorative Arts, Painting and sculptures.
That is quite a list and its spread out over several floors, each well marked and with information on what your going to find in that gallery.
I consider myself lucky to see the painting "Moses," by John Rogers Herbert. It was originally unveiled in 1878, yet hasn't always been on display. Having been rolled up since the 1940s, it eventually came to light in 2014. It's a wonderful painting containing literary, spiritual and moral meanings.
A two-metre high crystal-encrusted taxidermed deer, created by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa, was another interesting display. The entire surface is covered with clear glass beads.
There is lots to see, so if you like this type of thing, then allow plenty of time to have a good look around.
As there are ever-changing temporary exhibitions, I will be back again to see them and to have another browse through the entire gallery.
OPEN 10am - 5pm daily
The Weeping woman is a painting by Pablo Picasso that I was able to view in the National Gallery for FREE.
It was located in the Late 19th and early 20th century paintings and decorative arts gallery on level 2 of the gallery.
Picasso painted this Weeping Woman as part of a series of Weeping women in 1937. The colours are bold and striking, as is the painting of a woman holding a handkerchief to her teary face.
The painting represents a strong condemnation of the atrocities and inhumanity of modern warfare. By painting it in the bold colours of acid green and hot purples, this gives not rest to the eyes - only accusation and protests
OPEN 10AM - 5PM DAILY
I entered the National Gallery and my eyes were drawn to the ceiling, for what I was looking at, was the world's largest stained-glass ceiling. Wow! The clever person who designed it is Australian Leonard French.
The ceiling is 13.72 metres high and so heavy with glass and steel, (224 triangles of diamond-cut primary colours weigh 300 kilograms each), that its downward projecting triangles are held up by steel columns. Thousands of geometric pieces of coloured and clear glass have been cut so their facets bounce and refract coloured light,
Then I looked at the Water wall next to the entrance where water was cascading down the glass, I even saw a rainbow! The water cascades down the glass then passes back into a holding tank to repeat the cycle. The constant flow creates a natural filter between the bustle of the city and the calm interior of the Gallery.
In front of the water wall was a beautiful five-metre tall chandelier of crystal and light, a symbol of extravagance for the artist, Ai Weiwei, who grew up in exile without lights or candles during China’s Cultural Revolution.
Lastly was another display by Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, known as "Forever Bicycles." It was amazing sight! 1500 bicycles piled nine metres high which I walked through and around, then went upstairs to look down on them - fantastic!
180 St. Kilda road
FREE TO SEE
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) was founded in 1861, making it Australia's oldest, largest and most visited art museum.
The dull grey unimposing building wouldn't make you want to visit, but I can tell you, it is well worth going inside to see some of the 66,000 artworks from Europe, Asia, America and Oceania.
If you haven't been outside Australia, then this is your chance to see works by the Masters, priceless paintings by world-famous artists including Picasso, Manet, Monet and more. The gallery also hosts major touring exhibitions for limited times.
The front of the building has a large pond with a fountain, I noticed lots of coins on the bottom. I also noticed a grubby looking man with a scoop collecting as many as he could, lucky the Police didn't see him as he would be arrested!
Tours and audio guides involve a charge
Some temporary and touring exhibitions have an entry fee.
OPEN 10am - 5pm daily
LOCATION 180 St. Kilda road
This is a real great museum with some very good European painters like Pablo Picasso, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Marco Palmezzano, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Paolo Uccello and Paolo Veronese. And objects of art by Aesthetic Movement, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Wiener Werkstätte, Art Deco and Bauhaus. Free entry and one of the few places in Melbourne with free wifi and a very nice garden.
Founded in 1861, today's building was finished 1967 and renovated in 2003.
Come for the peace and serenity.
Or come for the history and the beautiful displays and paintings.
Ian Potter Centre
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Corner of Russell St and Flinders St, Melbourne
open 10 am - 5 pm
Tuesday to Sunday, closed Mondays
Open all publich holidays except
Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day (ope 1pm - 5pm on Anzac Day)
You will realise from my introduction that I specifically visited Melbourne, on this occasion, to visit the National Gallery of Vicotria International to see the Exhibition entitled:
" The Impressionists
Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay"
It has now finished & the next temporary Exhibition I am looking forward to visiting begins on October 13 and is:
"Edvard Munch - The Frieze of Life".
At the moment there are four other temporary exhibitions which are:
Man Ray (fantastic photos was in Sydney at the Art Gallery of New South Wales) which finishes Oct 17;
Crown & Camera Photos of Colonial India which finishes January 30, 2005,
15 Minutes of Fame 20 Year of Pop Prints which finishes Dec 5 this year &
The art of Zen which finishes October 24 this year.
This is a great gallery & I would have liked to have had more time to explore the permanent exhbitions as well the other temporary ones.
If you are visiting Melbourne then I strongly recommend you spending at least a couple of hours, preferably more, having a look around this excellent facility.
The National Gallery of Victoria is divided into two sites within a short walking distance of each other. One is the NGV Ian Potter Australia Center which displays works from Australian artists. The other is the NGV International which displays works from artists from abroad. The International is a multi level building divided into many galleries. The extensive permanent collection has a great array of paintings, drawings and sculptures from many countries. You can spend hours and hours viewing the various galleries. Admission to the permanent collection is free while the touring collections might charge a small fee.
With the formation of the Federation in 1901 and Melbourne being the capital but the subsequent transference of the state capital to Canberra in the 1920s, the city is something of an anomoly in that it was allowed to retain the word 'National' in most of its public buildings. Hence National Gallery of Victoria (as opposed to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra).
Much longer established, the NGV's collection is the best in Australia, so much so that it has two separate sites - one in Federation Square for Australian work and the NGV in St Kilda Rd for International Work.
Closed for more than 5 years for a major renovation, the NGV International opened at the beginning of 2004 to much pomp, ceremony and acclaim as befitting a gallery of major global significance. Melbournites and Australians in general have flocked back in record numbers, with, in the first few months, to see exhibitions the like never seen before in Australia - Caravaggio, Man Ray, fashion photographer Guy Bourdin and a major Impressionist exhibition from the Musee d'Orsay.
Since the re-opening, the gallery has 'settled' into the presentation of a 'major' exhibition each year from July-October (Winter Masterpieces) - including The Impressionists, Dali, Warhol, Picasso, Munch (all of which attract 200-350,000 attendees) alongside numerous other exhibitions of national and international significance.
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm Wednesday - Monday (closed Tuesday). During the Winter Masterpieces, gallery also open until 9pm on most Wednesdays (but check website to confirm).
Admission free except to the major annual exhibitions
Since 1861, the National Gallery of Victoria has been displaying art works for the enjoyment of the community. The Collection is now split between The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, home of Australian art, and NGV International at St Kilda Road, the new redeveloped building dedicated to the gallery's magnificent international artworks. The 2 buildings are within walking distance from each other.
The Ian Potter Centre within Federation Square houses mainly Australian & Indigenous art pieces. Entry is free, except for special exhibits.
10am-5pm, until 9pm Thursdays. Closed Mondays except public holidays.
The main International building along St.Kilda Road, houses collections spanning both European (extensive pieces from British artists such as Turner and even a number of Rembrandt pieces) and Asian themes. However, in my personal opinion, they do pale against those I have seen in Europe and Asia respectively. Nonetheless, it shouldn't deter art lovers from spending some time at both centres, brushing up on artistic brownie points.
Open 10am-5pm. Closed Tuesdays except public holidays
Open public holidays except Christmas Day & Good Friday.
Anzac Day 25 April (open 1-5pm)
This is Australia's finest art gallery for mine. Though I can't show you pictures of the inside, the tower is unmissable, even in a high rise city like Melbourne.
How it came to be so highly regarded is a lesson in common sense. One of the main reasons was not only a bequest just after the turn of the 20th century but how that bequest was used. See my general tips (NGOV) for full details.
A substantial sum came into the gallery's hands but they wisely didn't rush out and buy paintings. No, they invested it, watched their money grow and purchased when the right opportunity arose. This is how you get to view a Tiepolo, currently valued at $300,000,000, on the walls of this gallery. I had flown all the way to Italy and thence to Vicenza in the hope of seeing his frescoes but to no avail as viewing was closed during my stay but, all the time one of his most famous works was in my own backyard so to speak.
This fine work is visible from two rooms away and it just gets better as you get closer. I was over the moon not only with the quality of this work but of the general standard of the place.
They have over 15,000 works to choose from and, in the early days after the bequest the Russian Revolution occurred and many fine works came on the market, some of which were snapped up by this very gallery.
I find it amazing that VT and the local Official Visitors Guide can't be bothered mentioning it. Fortunately its fame is such that it hasn't deterred the thousands of visitors that check it out each year.
A must visit on your Melbourne itinerary; for me the number one thing to see.
The National Gallery of Victoria at Federation Square (not St Kilda Rd - that's the international part) is free to enter the permanent exhibitions and has a pretty good range of Australian art. It's not huge, so it's a good place to go and get out of the elements for a bit. Look out for the iconic Frederick McCubbin triptych (painting in 3 parts) "The Pioneers". Look at the 3 paintings more closely, especially the background, or eavesdrop on a tour group (as I did) to get a better understanding of what the painting represents. There is also Aboriginal art on the ground floor. NGV Fed Square is open 10am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday (except Christmas, Good Friday and Anzac Day)