Melbourne’s NGV makes world’s top 20 galleries

UK publication The Art Newspaper has released its latest survey of global art museum attendance, with the National Gallery of Victoria edging its way into the top 20 most-visited galleries in the world.

In 2015, the NGV was number 21, but for 2016 moved up to number 19, with 2.6 million visitors across its two locations on St Kilda Road and in Federation Square. The gallery’s attendance has been sharply increasing over the last few years, with just over 2 million in 2014, 2.4 million in 2015, before reaching last year’s high of 2.6 million.

Last year’s success is due largely to the record-breaking Andy Warhol/Ai Weiwei summer exhibition and the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition Degas: A New Vision.

The top spot in the 2016 survey was taken by Paris’s Musée du Louvre, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York following in second place.

The survey also revealed that Melbourne-based artist Patricia Piccinini, perhaps best-known for her controversial inflatable work Skywhale, had the second-most visited exhibition in the world in 2016. Her free exhibition free exhibition Consciousness at Rio de Janeiro’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil attracted 444,425 visitors.

In a statement, Victoria’s Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley said: “It’s no mean feat for a gallery in a city with a relatively small population to be ranked among the top museums on earth. It’s something all Victorians – as the owners of the NGV – can be proud of.”

“These fantastic results show that Victoria is truly the creative state and once again illustrate the leadership role our creative sector plays, both nationally and globally.”

The top 10 art museums in 2016, source:
The top 10 art museums in 2016, source:

4 responses to “Melbourne’s NGV makes world’s top 20 galleries

  1. Hmmm. The article says “The top spot in the 2016 survey was taken by Paris’s Musée d’Orsay…”, but the graphic says the top spot was taken by the Musée du Louvre. Which is correct?

  2. My local Westfield gets more people each year and its more visually compelling than Contemporary Art. Blockbusters always get big figures but Shopping Malls get bigger and let’s face it most Contemporary Art looks exactly the same as most commercial display: big and colourful, shiny.

    This is why Art now is popular, it looks like everything else.

    1. Scott, I very much doubt you have actually been to a NGV exhibition lately to form your opinion
      You’re welcome to stick to Westfield if that’s what inspires you- I personally find them commercial blandness depressing, in comparison to the NGV’s intellectually stimulating and beautiful exhibitions- I drive 1,500 kms to go and see them!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Newsletter Signup