National Gallery of Victoria: Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)
Ah, I had forgotten that Australian Galleries and Museums were free admission. You only need to pay if you are going to see a special touring collection or exhibit... and this is in stark contrast to the Dutch model where you were best off purchasing a subscription Museumkaart that would give you free entry into the participating museums. Just a different model of funding and all of that... but I do think that the Australian model is pretty decent. I do consider that museums, libraries, and galleries (and many other things...) to be public goods that should be accessible to everyone and not just gatekept for people who can pay for it. Some things in life are not meant to be profit spinners... and lets not kid ourselves, bean counters never really manage to capture the cost and price of everything... only the easily countable things.
Another benefit of the free admission model (government funded and supported) is the fact hat you can just wander in and spend as long as you like looking at the displays... you can just spend a half hour or an hour (the rough attention span of a child, or a typical lunch break).... or you can take you time and make it a whole day outing. Either way, you aren't pressured to "get your money's worth"... which takes the stress out of the day.
I have to say... this is one of the more impressive entranceways that I have seen! The veil of falling water on the glass really cools the entrance, and gives you this other-worldly sense as you enter... and many kids and adults were just touching the water to see if it was real or not!
The exhibit in the main foyer was this mirage installation of mirrors and not mirrors. It is pretty hard to describe when you aren't within it... but when you are walking through it, it is quite pleasantly disorientating!
Outside, in the garden area behind the main building is this unusual recreation of the Greek Acropolis. Who knows, now that we know that many of the ancient marble statues were painted (and sometimes, quite gaudily)... perhaps this isn't too far off the mark! Anyway, this is used as a stage for live performances throughout the year.
... ummm... I'm not really sure what this is supposed to be saying.
... also, not clear on what this was!
Some stained glass relics from the pre-Renaissance eras... it is really quite strange that some of these artifacts from the past have ended up in Australia!
... and anyone who is a fan of Doctor Who will easily feel a little bit unnerved by this display. I quickly moved onwards...
So, something that is quite nice about the National Gallery of Victoria is the vast range of forms, styles, cultures, and eras that are represented in the general collection. For instance, there are these modern (20th century) furniture designs... wow, I would definitely want some of hose in my house! Beautiful pieces...
Apparently, this is a depiction of dandelions or sunflowers... I don't really resonate so much with this sort of style. I'm afraid that I just don't see it...
Statue depictions of Baroque and Classical dance! Amazing things that are pretty interesting to me! Although, I still prefer to see the dancers do it whilst we accompany them with a live backing track.
Furniture and styles from a variety of Australian houses that were donated by their owners... Art Deco style...
18th-19th century wood pieces.
They were preparing this auditorium space for a "youth" Art party... strange concept, but definitely can get behind the outreach effort! Plus, such a beautiful glass ceiling is definitely worth craning your head up to look at before you move into the Jewelry exhibition.
Classical and Baroque portraiture... as we moved through this section, my wife and I remarked on how far behind music lagger in time compared to their visual art counterparts. Art that we would associate with Baroque music were often about 50 years ahead of the composers of the music.
So, the National Gallery of Victoria is a great place for adults and kids to visit... no pressure from the ticket pricing, so just drop in and take your time and look at whatever you want. And there is a great variety of different types of art to look at across a wide variety of time periods and cultures. Really quite an amazing place, and definitely worth a drop in when you are in Melbourne!
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