Gallery that is!
Near Federation square is a big building that houses the National Gallery Of Victoria (NGV). Founded in 1861 it is the oldest public museum in all of Australia. It owes it’s very early existence to the Gold Rush that occurred at this time and flush with money the Victorians donated vast amounts of cash to setup the gallery and fill it with international masterpieces right up to a modern day collection of over 70,000 pieces.
As you enter the gallery you have to maneuver around a waterfall that is fueled completely from rainwater collected on the roof and when you enter the entrance foyer you are greeted by some psychedelic ballerina-polar bears. (Now that’s a David Bowie lyric if ever I heard it!)
This was a very big and impressive place, which is saying a lot as we used to have the British Museum in Holborn to hand. It’s main roof contains the largest stained-glass ceiling in the world and was designed by Australian artist Leonard French (You can see more of his work around Melbourne). Another great aspect was that there were free Exhibitions on all the time. We went up to Level 1 to start exploring the first of these, Bushido – Way of The Samurai.
This did not disappoint. Karen almost had to give John a slap across the face to re-compose him. The exhibition had actual Samurai suits of armour 🙂 It also contained paintings and exhibits displaying the cultural pursuits of these most noble of warriors.
Next up was Fashion and Textiles. An intimate subject for us as Karen’s sister is a future fashion designer. Here there were outfits and furniture from all the eras of the twentieth century with relevant music played when you changed sections. The highlight was the table made from various teddy bear animals as well as one of Alexander Macqueen designed coats.
Some of the traditional art galleries were closed for maintenance, but we got to some of Rembrandt’s work. We moved onto the more contemporary sections where we saw some Andy Warhol pieces alongside the famous (Kathy) Temin piece Duck-Rabbit Problem, which is based on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein.
With lunchtime approaching we left the Gallery but we may need to return again in the future as the following exhibition is coming soon…