|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|National Gallery of Victoria entrance sign, 180 St Kilda Road.|
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.
At that time the gallery began, Victoria had been an independent colony for just ten years, but in the wake of the 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 begin buying a large collection of overseas works from both old and modern masters.
The gallery's name has caused some confusion over the years, as Victoria is not, and never has been a nation, but a state of Australia, and there is also the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra. Some people such as the chairman of the NGA have called for the NGV to be renamed, perhaps to "Melbourne Gallery". However, the NGV was founded some 40 years before the founding of the Commonwealth of Australia, when Victoria was a self governing British colony; the name alludes to that period, when Victoria was a discrete political entity. It was also established more than a century before the National Gallery in Canberra. According to Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, "We won't be renaming the National Gallery of Victoria. It has a great tradition. It is the biggest and best gallery in the country and it's one of the biggest and best in the world."
In 1959 the commission to design a new gallery and cultural centre was awarded to the architectural firm Grounds Romberg Boyd. In 1962 Roy Grounds split from his partners Frederick Romberg and Robin Boyd, retained the commission, and designed the gallery at 180 St Kilda Road (now known as NGV International). One of the features of the gallery buildings are famous for the Leonard French ceiling, one of the world's largest pieces of suspended stained glass. The ceiling casts colourful light on the floor below.He subsequently designed the adjacent Victorian Arts Centre.
The gallery is now spread over two buildings a short distance from each other at the southern end of the CBD. A new space, The Ian Potter Centre, in Federation Square opened in 2003 and houses the Australian art collection. Grounds' building just south of the Yarra River now houses the international collection. It reopened in December 2003 after four years of renovations by architect Mario Bellini).
The iconic Angel sculpture by Deborah Halpern was removed to be restored and relocated to Birrarung Marr. The Australian collection includes a large collection of works donated by Dr. Joseph Brown in 2004, which forms the Joseph Brown Collection.
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