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National Gallery of Victoria

Architect: Roy Grounds

City of Melbourne | C30

Founded in 1861, the National Gallery of Victoria is Australia’s oldest public art gallery. The building itself is a major work by the noted Australian architect Roy Grounds, and was the first major public building to be constructed in Victoria in the fifty years following the First World War, and the first entirely new art gallery to be constructed in Australia after the Second World War. It set new standards for exhibition layout, art storage and conservation, and represented a new era in the arts and public architecture. The large palazzolike gallery building is rectangular in form with three internal courtyards providing light and external views to surrounding galleries. The bluestoneclad, reinforced concrete building is relieved only by a large entrance archway and a bronze Victorian coat of arms by Norma Redpath on the front façade. The floating roof, with upturned eaves, is separated from the walls by a continuous band of high clerestory windows. A moat surrounds the entire building. The water theme is continued at the entry where a flow of water runs down a glass screen, now known as the Water Wall. The internal Great Hall is four storeys high and features an abstract ceiling of multi-coloured glass by the artist Leonard French.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 3 & Thursday 1 January 10am - 5pm

  • Photography Restricted: Yes

  • What's Open: Public galleries

  • Tour Type: C30

  • Tour Details: NGV open for self-guided visits daily, 10am–5pm. Pre-booked talk at 12pm Saturday 28th July. Bookings open on Friday 13 July 8:30 am (single release) until booked out. Tickets available from the NGV website w

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility access

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Facilities: Toilets, Food and beverage available

  • Special Programming: Fifty Years On: The NGV’s Stained Glass Ceiling Saturday 28 July, 12pm–12.30pm Learn the story behind the design and installation of the world’s largest stainedglass ceiling by celebrated artist Leonard French in the NGV’s Great Hall. Speaker: David Hurlston, Senior Curator, Australian Painting, Sculpture and Decorative Arts to 1980, Bookings essential – booking link

  • Year Built: 1968

  • Transport: Tram stop: Arts Precinct on routes 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72


180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004, VIC


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