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.
|Venue name:||NGV International|
180 St Kilda Rd
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-5pm|
|Transport:||Nearby stations: Flinders Street|
Pick a date
A Fairy Tale in Red Times: Works from the White Rabbit Collection
White Rabbit, a privately owned four-storey temple to 21st century Chinese art, is a big deal in Sydney. It shows Judith Neilson’s epic and eclectic collection to hordes of Sydneysiders every week, ranging from small-scale works to massive installations....Until Sunday October 6 2019 Free
Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor
It’s not an exaggeration to say Alexander Calder changed the face of modern art. Known as “the man who made sculpture move”, his gravity-defying mobiles are instantly recognisable. Now, in conjunction with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National...Until Sunday August 4 2019
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
Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape
Cai Guo-Qiang is best known for unique, large-scale artworks that draw on his cultural heritage. In this exhibition, part of the National Gallery of Victoria's prestigious Winter Masterpieces series, he's presenting all new works, ranging from a monumental...Friday May 24 2019 - Sunday October 13 2019
Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality
The National Gallery of Victoria's latest winter blockbuster was a look back at the last 130 years of modern art, but their major 2019 winter exhibitions are looking a fair bit further back. All the way to the third century BCE. For more than 2,000 years...Friday May 24 2019 - Sunday October 13 2019
Things to do
NGV Friday Nights
The NGV's Friday Nights series is back for another round, and this time they’re pairing a string of gigs alongside the new Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality exhibition. Few things go hand-in-hand like music and art, and NGV Friday Nights’...Friday May 31 2019 - Saturday October 12 2019
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...Friday September 20 2019 - Sunday March 1 2020
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 2018/19 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