Melbourne Art Galleries
(Melbourne, Victoria - VIC, Australia)
Melbourne contains a very varied selection of art galleries, the majority of which come with free admission and a superb array of paintings and sculptures.
One to be added to the top of any Melbourne sightseeing itinerary is the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), which lies within the inner suburb of Southbank and contains some dramatic installations. Unusually, the ACCA tends to focus on commissioning pieces, rather than actually collecting them as such.
The Gallery of Victoria also comes highly recommended and being founded as long ago as 1861, is actually Australia's oldest. Located in the vibrant Melbourne Arts Precinct, the Gallery of Victoria is currently called home by more than 60,000 works of art and attracts almost one million visitors each year.
Further art institutions of interest include both the Monash University Gallery and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Gallery (RMIT), where themed contemporary canvasses are a speciality, often being created by local Australian artists.
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
Address: 111 Sturt Street, Southbank, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3006, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9697 9999
The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is situated in the South Yarra district of Melbourne, close to the Playbox Theatre, the Kings Domain and the Botanic Gardens. Home to a large amount of impressive works by local Melbourne, Australian and international artists from around the world, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art features a large collection of modern paintings, sculptures and photographs. The ACCA steel building itself is also of particular interest, since it has won awards for its unusual sculptural form and is quite distinctive in its appearance.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 11:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00
National Gallery of Victoria
Address: 180 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9208 0203
Situated in the trendy Southbank area, close to the Eureka Tower and the Queen Victoria Gardens, the National Gallery of Victoria is one of the most popular in the area. With a number of masterpieces by world-famous artists, including the likes of Picasso, Rembrandt and Rubens, other attractions at the National Gallery of Victoria include Aboriginal works of art, sculptures, temporary exhibitions, gardens, art courses and a large café area. Within walking distance, the Yarra River Cruises are worth considering if you have time on your hands after your visit.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Bendigo Art Gallery
Address: 42 View Street, Bendigo, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3550, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 5443 4991
Founded in the late 19th century, the Bendigo Art Gallery can be found in the city's Country Victoria district, near to the Queen Elizabeth Oval and the Visual Arts Centre. Featuring a large collection of historic Australian art, Bendigo contains a number of additional exhibition spaces, housing important collections of international art and many temporary exhibitions throughout the calendar. Also notable is the extensive gift shop and the multitude of seasonal events.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Address: Sargood House, 67 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9654 0299
The Chapungu Gallery is a relatively new addition to the arts scene in the city, opening at the end of the 20th century. Best known for its outstanding exhibitions of contemporary stone sculptures, this large commercial venue is located in the heart of the city centre, near to the Treasury Gardens and Wellington Park.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 09:30 to 17:30, Saturday - 10:00 to 16:00
Customs Wharf Gallery
Address: 126 Nelson Place, Williamstown, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3016, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9399 9726
The Customs Wharf Gallery, in the Williamstown waterfront area, was built in the late 19th century as a vast warehouse. Now converted into a stylish, spacious art gallery, Customs Wharf specialises in modern and more traditional paintings, sculptures and ceramics. This facility also houses a large gift shop and popular restaurant area. Close by, attractions include the Maclean Reserve, the Commonwealth Reserve, the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria and the HMAS Castlemaine.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:30
Monash University Gallery
Address: Monash University, Gallery Building, 55 Wellington Road, Clayton, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3800, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9905 4217
Located in the south-easterly Notting Hill suburb of Melbourne, on the grounds of the university, the Monash University Gallery is home to an enormous collection of Australian and international art, from the last 50 years, including many spectacular contemporary paintings and sculptures. Other attractions include a number of temporary exhibitions and art-related events, while nearby you will find the Fregon Reserve and the Huntingdale Golf Course.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 10:00 to 17:00, Saturday - 14:00 to 17:00
Address: 249-251 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9642 5455
The Outre Gallery is a large commercial exhibition space located in the heart of the city centre, between Lonsdale Street and Bourke Street. Featuring a large amount of contemporary paintings and modern sculptures, the Outre also has an extensive gift shop, selling prints, posters and souvenirs.
Open hours: Monday to Thursday - 10:30 to 17:30, Friday - 10:30 to 19:00, Saturday - 10:30 to 17:00
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Gallery (RMIT)
Address: RMIT Storey Hall, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria (VIC), 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9925 1717
One of the largest and most popular galleries in the city, the RMIT Gallery resides on Swanston Street, close to the Old Gaol and the State Library of Victoria. Overflowing with stunning contemporary works of art from all around the world, including a number of pieces by local Aussie artists, the RMIT also features many temporary exhibitions, art courses and temporary exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and other art-related items.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 11:00 to 17:00, Saturday - 14:00 to 17:00