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National Gallery of Victoria

This guide has everything you need to know about the National Gallery of Victoria. If you’re new to Melbourne, Clean Group Melbourne will show you a wide collection of Australian Art. National Gallery of Victoria, also known as NGV, is a popular museum in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It was founded in 1861 and is the oldest, largest and most visited museum in the country. Housing over 70,000 works of significant art, the Gallery has two main sites – NGV International and NGV Australia.

NGV International is located on St Kilda Road in the Melbourne Arts Precinct of Southbank. Sir Roy Grounds designed the building and it opened in 1968. Mario Bellini redeveloped it and it reopened in 2003. Today, it houses international art collections and it is also added on the Victoria Heritage Register, On the other hand, NGV Australia, also known as Ian Potter Centre, is located near the Federation Square. Lab Architecture Studio designed the building and it opened in 2002. Today, it serves as home to a wide collection of Australian Art.


The Gallery features numerous exhibits all throughout the year. Some of them are free while require booking and purchasing of tickets.

A Fairy Tale in Red Times (NGV International)

A Fairy Tale in Red Times: Works from the White Rabbit Collection is a free exhibit in NGV International which was organised by NGV association in collaboration with Judith Neilson – an arts patron and philanthropist. It features art works made by 26 Chinese artists based in mainland China and Taiwan. The collection depicts the social changes that occured in Chinese society during the 21st century. The exhibit is open daily from 3 May to 6 October 2019 from 10 am to 5 pm.

From Bark to Neon (NGV Australia)

The From Bark to Neon: Indigenous Art from the NGV Collection is another free exhibit in NGV Australia building. It features Indigenous Australia art made by artists from different time periods in the country’s history. Some of the featured artists in this exhibit are Paddy Compass Namadbara, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Rover Thomas, Trevor Nickolls and Lin Onus. The exbihit is open daily from 3 November 2018 to 14 July 2019, form 10 am to 5 pm.

Terracotta Warriors and Cai Guo-Qiang (NGV International)

Terracotta Warriors and Cai Guo-Qiang is a paid exhibit in NGV Internation organised by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. They work in partnership with several Chinese institutions like Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, Shaanxi History Museum, Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre and Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum of the People’s Republic of China. The exhibit features ancient Chinese terracotta warriors, as well as new art works made by Cai Guo-Qiang. Guo-Qiang is dubbed as one of the most exciting contemporary artists in the world. This exhibit is open daily from 29 June to 14 July 2019, from 8 am to 5 pm.

Hans and Nora Heysen (NGV Australia)

Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art is a paid exhibit housed in NGV Australia. It features the works of father and daughter artists, Hans and Nora Heysen. Their works predominantly depict migratory life, family life, wartime separation, as well as having a deep connection to certain places. Hans works mainly feature landscapes, and Nora created portraits and still life paintings. The Hans and Nora Heysen exhibit is open daily from 8 March to 28 July 2019, from 10 am to 5 pm.

Curatorial Departments

Being the largest museum in the country, the National Gallery of Victoria consists of numerous curatorial departments, in which its vast collection of works are sorted into.

Asian Arts

This department houses over 5000 works from China, Japan, Korea, Himalayas, South and Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Persia. The collections in this department date back from the second millennium BCE to the 21st century. The art forms in this collection include painting, calligraphy, prints and drawings, sculpture, ceramics, bronze, lacquer, jade, glass, furniture and textiles.

Contemporary Arts

The Contemporary Arts department is in charge of curating contemporary Australian and international artworks starting from the 1980s until today. It includes a comprehensive collection of contemporary paintings, sculpture, installations, moving image and decorative arts. This department is also in charge of exhibition and project developments, displays of commissions and collections, research and publications, as well as community engagement.

Decorative Arts

The International Decorative Arts & Antiquities department is responsible for antiquities from the Mediterranean and Near Eastern and decorative arts from Britain and the continent dating from the 1200s through to 1980. They also cover some American decorative arts of the 20th century. The art forms included in this department are ceramics, glass, metalwork, jewellery and furniture.

Fashion and Textiles

The Fashion and Textiles department is responsible for conducting researches, acquiring and organising exhibits for historical and contemporary fashion and textiles. It includes international works for fashion, such as dresses, embroideries and textiles, from the different parts of the world. The items in this department date back from 16th to the 21st century.

Indigenous Arts

This department looks after Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art collections, as well as the art of Oceania, Pre-hispanic America and Africa. It is also in charge of managing, facilitating and organising activities pertaining to Australian Indigenous Arts. The department also oversees the acquisition, display and interpretation of the artworks in its collection. As of date, the Indigenous Arts departments own over 5000 works in various art forms such as paintings and sculpture.


The Photography department own about 14,000 photographs taken from the 1840s until contemporary times. It encompasses photographs of Aboriginal peoples, the nineteenth-century French, Britain and America, as well as the largest collection of photographs by Athol Shmith. The department also oversees the changing of the displays in photography exhibits. Other departments in the National Gallery of Victoria are the departments of Australian Art, Contemporary Design and Architecture, International Art and Prints and Drawings. 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia