National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria is an art gallery and museum in Melbourne, Australia. Started in 1861, it is the oldest and the largest public art gallery in Australia. The main gallery is located in St Kilda Road, at 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.
When the gallery opened, Victoria had been an independent colony for ten years. After the Victorian gold rush, it was easily the richest part of Australia, and Melbourne the largest city. Generous gifts from wealthy citizens, including the industrialist Alfred Felton, made it possible for the National Gallery to start buying large collections of overseas works from both old and modern masters. It has over 65,000 works of art.
The National Gallery of Victoria Art School began in 1867. It was the leading centre for art training in Australia until about 1910. The School’s graduates, such as Sidney Nolan, went on to become some of Australia’s most significant artists.