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. Since December 2003, NGV has operated across two sites. The main gallery, known as NGV International, is located on St Kilda Road, in the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct of Southbank, with a branch gallery at Federation Square. The St Kilda Road Gallery, designed by Sir Roy Grounds, opened in 1968. and redesigned by Mario Bellini. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square was designed by LAB Architecture Studio.
At the time when the gallery opened, Victoria was an independent colony for just ten years, but in the wake of the Victorian gold rush, it was easily the richest part of Australia, and Melbourne the largest city. Besides donations of works of art, donated funds from wealthy citizens have been used by the Gallery to purchase large collections of overseas works from both old and modern masters. The Gallery currently holds over 65,000 works of art. The Felton Bequest, established by the will of Alfred Felton, has acquired and donated over 15,000 works of art to the Gallery. The National Gallery of Victoria Art School, associated with the gallery, was founded in 1867. It was the leading centre for academic art training in Australia until about 1910. The School’s graduates went on to become some of Australia’s most significant artists.