Time Out says
See blockbuster exhibitions alongside an impressive permanent collection at the National Gallery of Victoria
This grand modernist building on St Kilda Road is Australia's oldest and most popular art museum. That title has been won thanks to the gallery's top-notch and diverse permanent collection, their fantastic visiting collections and an ongoing series of additional events aimed at locals and tourists alike.
The permanent collection includes a Rembrandt, a Bonnard and a Tiepolo – not bad for a gallery that's only been around since the mid 1800s. All visitors to the NGV must pass the water wall upon entry, and yes, it is hard to resist touching it. The ground floor is where you'll usually find the gallery's major exhibitions and it's also where you'll find the magnificent, boiled lolly-like stained glass ceiling in the Great Hall.
Upstairs you've got the permanent collections, as well as the smaller visiting exhibitions. Be warned the large, colonial era rooms are easy to lose people in, so keep a close eye on any children looking to make a jailbreak. You cannot visit the NGV without spending a hefty chunk of time in the 19th Century Gallery (or Salon Gallery). It gets its nickname from the style the paintings are hung in and houses one of the most emotive paintings in the gallery: 'Anguish' by August Friedrich Schenck.
You could easily spend a whole day in the bulding so be sure to make regular pit stops; if you're feeling fancy the Tea Room offers high tea as well as cakes and light meals while downstairs you can fill your belly with the seasonal menu items at Garden Restaurant.
Check out our hit-list of the best galleries in Melbourne.
180 St Kilda Rd
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The National Gallery of Victoria has always been quite forward-thinking in its integration of design and fashion into its exhibition program, but it also has a hugely impressive collection of design, including a heap of pieces from Japanese label Comme...Design Until Sunday July 26 2020
KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness
Even if you don't know his name, you're almost certainly familiar with Brian Donnelly's (aka KAWS) larger-than-life sculptures and paintings. Kaws take icons from cartoons and pop culture and reimagines them in vulnerable and unexpected situations. His...Until Sunday March 1 2020
New York artist KAWS (aka Brian Donnelly) has brought his larger-than-life sculptures and paintings to the NGV this summer for KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness. Alongside this mega exhibition will be something for the littlest art fans. KAWS:...Exhibitions Until Monday April 13 2020 Free
Liquid Light: 500 Years of Venetian Glass
Venetian glass is known across the world for its vibrant colour, elaborate designs and exquisite craftsmanship, honed over centuries by traditional glassblowers on the Venetian island of Murano. In Liquid Light, the National Gallery of Victoria brings...Until Monday April 13 2020 Free
Shirin Neshat: Dreamers
Iranian-born, New York-based artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat has been exploring the relationship between women, identity and Islam for more than 20 years. In Dreamers, her trilogy of black and white video installations, Neshat examines the world of...Until Sunday April 19 2020 Free
Things to do
The Gala is back, folks! Every year, the NGV throws a huge party to celebrate the opening of their blockbuster summer exhibition. The party is an incredible amalgamation of art, fashion, music, food and fine wine – think of it as the Met Gala, but Melbournised. The...Exhibitions Saturday November 30 2019
Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines
After the success of a joint exhibition of work by Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei in 2016, the NGV is bringing together another pair of art legends for its 2019/20 summer blockbuster. Who doesn't love a two-for-one deal? Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat's...Paintings Sunday December 1 2019 - Monday April 13 2020
Things to do
NGV Friday Nights during Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines
The spirit of the New York’s underground downtown art scene during the 1980s is flowing through the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday nights. With a little help from Bombay Sapphire, the latest NGV Friday Nights series is inspired by the gallery’s...Exhibitions Friday December 6 2019 - Friday April 10 2020