National Gallery of Victoria

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Coordinates: 37°49′21″S 144°58′07″E / 37.822595°S 144.968634°E / -37.822595; 144.968634

The National Gallery of Victoria is an art gallery and museum in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1861, it is the oldest and the largest public art gallery in Australia. The main gallery is located in St Kilda Road, in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct of Southbank, with a branch gallery at Federation Square. The St Kilda Road Gallery, designed by Sir Roy Grounds, opened in 1968. Since December 2003, NGV has operated across two sites – NGV International on St Kilda Road, redesigned by Mario Bellini, and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, designed by LAB Architecture Studio.[1]

At the time when the gallery opened, Victoria was an independent colony for just ten years, but in the wake of the Victorian gold rush, it was easily the richest part of Australia, and Melbourne the largest city. Generous gifts from wealthy citizens, notably industrialist Alfred Felton, made it possible for the National Gallery to start purchasing large collections of overseas works from both old and modern masters. It currently holds 63,000 works of art.[2]

The National Gallery of Victoria Art School, associated with the gallery, was founded in 1867. It was the leading centre for academic art training in Australia until about 1910.[3] The School’s graduates went on to become some of Australia’s most significant artists.

Contents

Heidelberg era

In the late 19th and early 20th century, domestic art began to thrive (particularly with the "Heidelberg School" in what was then an outer suburb of Melbourne) and the National Gallery was well-placed to add an excellent collection of key Australian works, which trace the metamorphosis of imported European styles into distinctively Australian art. One of the most famous works at the gallery is The pioneer by Frederick McCubbin (1904).

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