Melbourne’s NGV gets a $28.7 million reward

It pays to be popular. The National Gallery of Victoria, which last week was listed at number 19 among the 20 most visited art galleries in the world, will be given an extra $28.7 million over two years in the next Victorian Budget.

Martin Foley, the Victorian Minister for Creative Industries (a role known as an ‘arts minister’ in other states), said the extra funds “will support the gallery to strengthen its permanent exhibitions and undertake ongoing maintenance, including managing its collection of more than 70,000 artworks”.

The boost is a reward for a job well done, according to the numbers. When incumbent NGV director Tony Ellwood was newly arrived at the gallery five years ago it held 28 exhibitions a year but by 2016 that number had risen to 49. Visitor numbers have jumped from 2 million in 2014 to 2.4 million in 2015 and on to an all time high of 2.6 million last year. (The NGV says the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei summer exhibition of 2016 generated $25.1 million income for Victoria).

Foley said in a statement this morning that the extra funding will also support the gallery to continue its NGV Summer program, “which over the last four years has attracted more than five million visitors, including record numbers of tourists”.

The NGV Summer program includes major contemporary art and design exhibitions, ‘Friday Nights’ music series and a kids festival,


The  NGV’s 2017 Melbourne Winter Masterpiece show Van Gogh and the Seasons opens on Friday.

3 responses to “Melbourne’s NGV gets a $28.7 million reward

  1. At the risk of labouring the point, it seems the best way to boost visitor numbers is to have one art museum with two venues within walking distance of one another. Short of using face recognition technology, I don’t see how you can avoid double counting. When I fly to Melbourne to visit the NGV, which I very much enjoy doing, of course I’m going to visit both NGV International and NGV Australia – one visit that would seem to be counted as two. Please enlighten me Tony Ellwood if you account for this, as you have previous form here while at QAG/GoMA.

    1. Well ALL the Art Museums in Australia inflate their numbers. Go outside for a smoke and come back in and you are counted again. At the Brisbane City Gallery when it was in City hall the then Director counted every person who entered City Hall! Its a rort we all know. Done to fool stupid politicians who want the Arts Portfolios to get “soft news” photo ops.

      Qld Arts Ministers and the now the Vic Government were far more interested in giving money to their “tourist baubles” than funding their artists. Politicians HATE individual artists as we don’t constitute enough votes in their eyes.

  2. I am an Italian scholar of Vincent Van Gogh’s life and work. I find it absurd that the Australian government fund a museum that has failed to defend the only Van Gogh painting in Australia, in its permanent possession (Portrait of man , Ivan Pavlovich Pokhitonov), by arbitrary and coercive work by the Van Gogh Museum, in July 2007. The painting is original, I have the evidence. The Van Gogh Museum has in its collection three female portraits of the Pokhutonov family of 1886 , made by Van Gogh and I found myself in his wife, daughter and mother-in-law. I also found the only photo INHA, existing of Van Gogh adult at the world, where Arthur Briet, the only witness of the authenticity of your painting.


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