The massive collections of over 70,000 exquisite artworks at the National Gallery of Victoria have been broadly divided into 7 sections:
1. Asian Art
The Asian Art section at the National Gallery of Victoria holds a massive collection of over 5000 artworks, with the history of the collection being traced back to 1862. You can find all sorts of artworks such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, textiles and many more forms, all tracing their heritage to every part of Asia. Perusing the collection here can help you observe and understand the various traditions and cultures of the diverse continent, as well as the impact of cross-cultural interactions that has taken place ove the years. The highlights of the Asian art collection are the Chinese tomb ware, scholarly paintings and porcelain from China, Buddhist art and woodblock printing from Japan, paintings from India, Persian art and Central Asian fabric.
2. Australian Art
Australian Art at NGV dates from the time of European settlement to the 1980s. This includes over 1200 decorative art objects (such as woodwork, metalwork, etc), approximately 1500 paintings, and around 200 sculptures. Here you will learn about the history and development of the country's art and its significance in the present time. Displayed at the Ian Potter Centre, the highlight of this incredible collection is the Joseph Brown Collection.
3. Contemporary Art
Created in the 1980s, the Contemporary Art collection at NGV displays a variety of paintings, sculptures and art installations, created by artists from all around the world to showcase the evolution of art, its creation and its representation. Among the highlights of this section are the massive Red Deer created from glass, acrylic and crystal beads, and the seemingly endless Stairs to Heaven
4. Decorative Art
A part of Australian Art, this department of gathers antiques from Mediterranean, Near Eastern and British and Continental regions. It looks after glass, ceramics, metalwork, furniture, and jewelry. Highlights of this collection include English glass of 17th and 18th century, Italian Renaissance maiolica, Continental porcelain from the 18th century, 20th-century Viennese designs and seat furniture, and decorative arts from the 19th century.
5. Contemporary Design and Architecture
A fairly new addition to the National Gallery of Victoria's art management, this section examines the the evolution of the fields of design and architecture in the modern world, and how it has been presented in the current society, ranging from product design to creation of an entire surounding and setting. Among the highlighted works of art here are the Wave Sofa, the Standing Place and the Lockheed Lounge.
6. Fashion & Textiles
The Fashion and Textiles Section at NGV hosts one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind, with over 8,500 work on display. With the oldest piece here being the Egyptian Coptic Textiles from the 6th Century, it is absolutely fascinating to witness the timeline and evolution of the fashion industry, traditional and contemporary, throughout the ages and into the splendour of the 21st century.
7. Indigenous Art
One of the crown jewels of the Ian Potter Centre's collection, the main focus of the Indigenous Art collection is towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. With over 5000 original artwork being beautifully preserved here, you will witness the magnificence behind Aboriginal art, and understand why it is heavily valued across the world. You can also find original artworks from indigenous societies of America and Africa, before the advent of colonisation.
8. International Art
The highlight of NGV International, the International Art section holds a plethora of some of the best artworks the world has seen over the years, particularly that of the period between 1300 and 1980, where major developments took place in the art world through the various historical events occuring in Europe. Be it the classic Italian paintings of the 14th century, the Impressionist painting style of France or the timeless sculptures of the 18th and 19th century, the artworks of the International Art section are sure to blow your mind and help you appreciate art in a whole new manner. The highlights of this section are the works of world-renowned iconic painters like Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso, and the ever so famous recreation of the Thinker.
The Photography collection at NGV is home to about 14,000 photographs with the collection spanning almost a 200 year era. Regular exhibitions are hold by the department to curate and display special photos of the collection as per the theme of the event. If you want to explore the world of Australian photography and witness compositions of artists like Tracey Moffat, Rosemary Laing and many more, as well as global contemporary photographers like Jeff Wall, Richard Mosse and Thomas Struth, then look no further. You can also find the earliest recorded photogtaph of the Aboriginal Community, taken by Douglas Kilburn, prominently showcased in this collection that takes you through history and the world through its images. The displays are regularly changed here, but appointments can be made of Wednesday and Thursday afternoons to view the entirety of this collection.
10. Prints and Drawings
A treasure of the NGV collection, the Prints and Drawings section has some of the best artworks and old drawings from around the world, boasting of works by Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya and William Blake. You can witness the old master drawings as well as a collection of drawings from Australia, showcasing the prowess of the print and drawing culture in Oceania. The displays are regularly changed here, but appointments can be made of Wednesday and Thursday afternoons to view the entirety of this collection.