Get us in your inbox


NGV International

  • Art
  • Southbank
  • price 0 of 4
  1. National Gallery Victoria
    Robert BlackburnEntrance to the National Gallery Victoria
  2. National Gallery Victoria
    Photograph: Robert Blackburn
  3. Installation view of Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossi
    Photograph: NGV/Tom Ross
  4. NGV International 2015 Federation Court courtesy National Gallery of Victoria photographer credit Charlotte Ambrose
    Photographer: Charlotte Ambrose

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. 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.

Written by
Time Out editors


180 St Kilda Rd
Nearby stations: Flinders Street
Opening hours:
Daily 10am-5pm

What’s on

(This is) Air

  • Installation

You’ve likely seen the ‘Temple of Boom’ standing tall in the NGV Garden, but now there’s a new architectural work set to take shape in the gallery’s outdoor space. Building on a series of annual commissions including the much-loved Pink Pond and the aforementioned colourful Greek-style temple, this year’s NGV Architecture Commission has been announced and it’s sure to be just as breathtaking as its predecessors. However, unlike previous installations, this one will actually be doing the breathing. Opening on November 23, ‘(This is) Air’ will see a giant inflatable sphere that literally inhales and exhales throughout the day become the centrepiece of the garden. The balloon-like structure will morph throughout the day as it draws in and releases air in a natural rhythm. If you get close enough, you may even get to feel a gust as the sphere ‘exhales’.  The work will be created by award-winning Australian architect Nic Brunsdon in conjunction with Eness, a St Kilda-based art installation studio. At more than 14 metres tall, ‘(This is) Air’ seeks to make the invisible visible, drawing attention to the significance of the air we breathe. By making air seen, heard and felt, the work will encourage visitors to consider their connection with and dependency on air as a finite resource.  “The idea for the project was conceived by the architect during the global pandemic, when the air we breathed was suddenly at the forefront of everyone’s mind”, says Ewan McEoin, NGV’s senior curator o

Africa Fashion

The largest-ever exhibition of fashion from the African continent to hit Australia is setting up shop at the National Gallery of Victoria at the end of May. Africa Fashion is an exhibition from London’s top-notch Victoria & Albert Museum, showcasing almost 200 works created by more than 50 designers, from more than 20 countries.  Expect to be dazzled by the depth and breadth of this collection of couture, body adornments, ready-to-wear fashions and behind-the-scenes materials like photography and film. Africa Fashion is part historical survey and part contemporary showcase, featuring visually arresting garments from icons of twentieth century African fashion (including Kofi Ansah, Chris Seydou and Shade Thomas-Fahm) and contemporary designers alike (including Thebe Magugu, Moshions and  Imane Ayissi. The exhibition starts with a focus on the African independence movement, highlighting the importance of fashion as part of the cultural renaissance seen in the ‘50s and ‘60s, where self-representation and agency were key. Next, Africa Fashion turns the spotlight to the contemporary work of cutting-edge creatives and Africa’s present day dynamic fashion culture. The NGV has also published a public call out to Australia’s African diaspora, seeking family photos and home movies from Africa’s independence and liberation years. These images and stories may then be used in and around the exhibition.  Africa Fashion curator Dr Christine Checinska says she’s looking forward to sharing a


  • Sculpture and installations

Walk, talk and gawp like an Egyptian with this blockbuster exhibition all about ancient Egyptian art and culture. The NGV's Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition for 2024, titled Pharaoh, will constitute the biggest loan of ancient Egyptian artefacts that the British Museum has ever presented to international audiences – most of which will be on display in Australia for the very first time. Curated especially for the NGV by the British Museum, Pharaoh will run from June 14 until October 6, 2024, and will include a wide display of objects from monumental architecture to awe-inspiring statuary and exquisite pieces of jewellery.  Spanning from the first dynasty (3000 BCE) to the Roman period (fourth century CE), Pharaoh will celebrate some of the works commissioned by Egypt’s most famous kings and queens, including the boy king Tutankhamun; Ramses II and Queen Nefetari; Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza; and foreign leaders such as Alexander the Great. The works featured in Pharaoh will provide a sense of the vast scale of this ancient civilisation, including a carved green siltstone 'Head of Tuthmose III'; a five-centimetre wide ivory label depicting King Den of the first dynasty; a larger-than-life limestone status of Ramses II, one of ancient Egypt’s most famous kings as a high priest; and 'The seated statue of Pharoh Sety II', one of the most complete sculptures from ancient Egypt that serve as a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship.  Pharaoh will also ev

You may also like
You may also like