Assignment Help on Site Visit of National Gallery of Victoria
Talking about The National Gallery of Victoria is a very popular museum of art situated in the heart of Melbourne. The museum was incepted in 1861, which is also referred to as NGV. The site has its own importance as it holds a huge collection of arts depicting Australian’s heritage over centuries. NGV is considered as the major gallery that is exclusively dedicated to all the artwork of Australia. The selected site is an attraction to a large number of tourists as thousands of tourists come to Melbourne every year and for them to know more about Australian history would be to visit the NGV. Back in 1835, Melbourne was considered to be an illegal settlement, however that enabled the region to initiate international trade as people who settled in Australia specifically in Melbourne were from different parts of the world. With such trade, it urges to collect the various artworks from different countries and cultures.
The National Gallery of Victoria is considered to be the largest art museum in Australia and it plays a key role on educating tourist and other visitors about Australian history. The museum was built in 1961 that holds a large collection of various paintings and other indigenous arts and artefacts that consist of Australian colonial arts, Australian art of 20th century and Impressionist art of Australia. After few years of its establishment, the museum became the source for other museums to upgrade their collection of arts accordingly (Thomas, 2011). One can see number of different paintings that clearly depict the history of Australia, for example paintings like ‘The Pioneer’ and ‘Shearing the Rams’. I have included the pictures of both the paintings that will give you a better idea of what it portrays.
In addition to these and other such paintings in the museum, it also holds a large collection of indigenous art that itself consist of over 6000 diverse forms of artwork that range from objects to artefacts (NGV, 2016). With the collection it holds, it can be said that NGV is continuously making efforts to increase items in its collection of historical and contemporary arts. However, still its main and primary purpose is to educate people about the culture and history of Australia.
The museum also showcases the artwork of international artist that consist of paintings, textiles sculptures, drawings and other unique collections.
This simply help in giving more information to its visitors about other international artists who’s work needs appreciation.
There’s a section within the national gallery of victoria that is dedicated to Australian Colonial Art, that mainly comprises of the art work being collected at the time of early settlements of Europeans in the 17th and 18th century (NGV, 2016). This section of Australian colonial art, holds over 1500 paintings, a mix of over 150 sculptures and over 1100 decorative artefacts that consist of metalwork, furniture and other items made of ceramics. Though most of the items being displayed in NGV are Australian, however it would be wrong to say that the gallery is only collecting and preserving the Australian heritage, rather it is making an effort to collect artwork of other international artists, while focusing on its main effort to link Australian community with its historic endeavours.
On entering the National Gallery of Victoria, I was simply amazed with its infrastructure, the way it has displayed different art collection is simply amazing. From the outside, the building seemed pretty normal and one would have an idea that his/her experience to the museum would be very dry. However, on entering the museum, I was simply amazed and the first question that came to my mind was, why I didn’t visit this museum earlier. The way the paintings and other art works were showcased, each sculpture was on its own rack and even the walls in the museum were done accordingly.
Having a gallery within the CBD that is filled with all sorts of different and unique artworks and most importantly with free entrance makes it a busy place to visit specially during school holidays. Keeping the entrance free for everyone, encourages all sorts of people to go and have a look what the museum has to showcase. As visiting museums not only educate you on the history but also provides a lot of knowledge that you otherwise would never have. I think that is great in itself, art should be for everyone.
Obviously there are things that you probably wont like, I didn’t like either but still I had a great time going through all the different paintings, collections of furniture’s, fabrics etc. When I first walked into the entrance hall of the National Gallery of Victoria I was instantly confronted by the Xu Chen’s mammoth as to placed it there it took over 15 staff members and a crane, the biggest artwork of Xu’s eternal series and its here in Melbourne.
On having a clear look on this artwork, it can easily be noticed that around the reclining Buddha there are Greek and Romans on and around it, posing upon him. To me it seemed like it’s connecting the East with West.
Apart from that, all the other paintings, art works, sculptures worth have a clear and deep look, along with the historical Australian artwork there were art works of international artists being displayed. That’s simply an add-on for the visitors to see the skills and talent of international artists.
On answering the question, that what message does the national gallery communicate to visitors about Australian culture and history than it won’t be wrong to say that since National Gallery is the largest museum of Australian artwork, it provides a lot of knowledge to its visitors. However, it depends a lot on the visitor what previous knowledge he holds about Australia. To the whole world, it’s a known fact that Europeans took over Australia from the aboriginal people. This is clearly portrayed through the collection that the gallery holds about the aesthetic executions that occurred during the period of flourish.
Specimens of such include Frederick McCubbin’s ‘The Pioneer’ and Tom Robbert’s ‘Shearing the Rams’. According to Nelson and Shiff, 2003, the latter can easily be referred as the great masterpiece of the era of impressionism (Thomas. D, 2011). There are other works being displayed that hark back to the same period, in which the art work of McCubbin’s ‘Old Stables’ and ‘Summer Idyll’ are presentd.
Moving on further through to the historical artwork that the museum holds, theres a section in the museum that mainly focused on the art work collected during the second world war, that has devoted most of its focus to the role of women that was played for the development of Australia. The museum has dedicated a substantial part of it to the era of 1950 and 1980, that has major focus on topical social issues and other aspects of identity (NGV, 2015).
On going through such art work, different people would take different message from it, however the majority of the people would get to know the history of Australia, what their culture was and how it transformed over the years with the settlement of Europeans. What role the locals played towards the development of the country and how it has transformed over the years. This can simply be related to the great painting that endorsed and symbolized nationalism during the centenary of European establishment in Australia that took place in 1988.
The National Gallery of Victoria also has huge collection of indigenous art. In the last era of 20th century, the museum had allocated funds so that it can further purchase Aboriginal art. At present there are over 2000 pieces of indigenous art in National Gallery of Victoria that clearly reflect the artwork of Aboriginal communities within Australia (NGV, 2015). Through this perspective it clearly indicate that the museum focus on the history of Australia. The norms, values and cultures that was part of Australians before the settlement of Europeans.
The national Gallery of Victoria is the oldest and largest gallery in Australia that holds a large number of paintings, fabric materials, sculptures and other artwork of local and international artists along with the historical collection. The artwork that the museum showcases, it relates back to the pre-colonial era, when the Europeans came to Australian and that lead to international trade. The collection clearly reflects different aspects of Australian heritage over the time and delivers clear insight of the Australian history. There are collection of artwork that were done before 1900, along with historical art providing an opportunity for visitors to look at the history of Australia the most effective manner.
NGV. (2016). about. Available: http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/. Last accessed 12th Jan, 2016.
NGV, 2015. Australian Art. [Online], Available at; https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/curatorial/australian-art/. [Accessed; 23, January 2017].
Thomas, D. (2011). Art museums in Australia: a personal account.Available: http://nma.gov.au/research/understanding-museums/DThomas_2011.html. Last accessed 12th Jan, 2016.