If you’re looking to visit an art gallery in Melbourne or take a trip out to the wine regions to see modern art and sculpture, here’s a selection of ideas – including a new house museum gallery.
melbourne art galleries
National Gallery of Victoria
A visit to the National Gallery of Victoria is a must for any Melbourne visitor. Housed across two significant buildings, the NGV is Australia’s largest, oldest and most visited art gallery.
NGV International in the St Kilda Road arts precinct exhibits the gallery’s international art collection over three levels and hosts a rolling schedule of world-class exhibitions. Admission to NGV is free, while special exhibition entry usually costs around $30 for adults.
NGV Australia is often overlooked because it’s tucked away inside Federation Square, despite housing a significant collection of indigenous and non-indigenous Australian art from the colonial period to the present day.
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Established in 1981 in a north eastern suburb of Melbourne, Heide Museum presents modern and contemporary art across three distinct exhibition buildings set within sixteen acres of heritage-listed gardens and a sculpture park.
open house art galleries
Lyon Housemuseum Galleries
For something a little different, it’s definitely worth making the 40 minute journey from the CBD to Kew to see the Lyon Housemuseum Galleries.
Ten years ago, architect Corbett Lyon and his wife Yueji built a house designed to combine a family home with an art gallery exhibiting their large collection of contemporary Australian art.
Since 2009, the Lyon Housemuseum has opened to the public three days a month for small group tours around the paintings, sculpture and installations that intermingle with domestic parts of the house.
However, the Housemuseum concept recently expanded to include a new gallery built next door to the original house, opening six days a week. The new Housemuseum Galleries launched in 2019 with a special exhibition, ENTER comprising newly commissioned artworks by 16 Australian contemporary artists.
Justin Art House Museum
A visit to Justin Art House Museum in Prahran includes a tour of the current exhibition conducted by passionate art collectors Charles and Leah Justin, after which visitors are invited upstairs for light refreshments and the opportunity to discuss art and architecture.
Comprising over 250 pieces of art, their collection includes a diverse range of paintings, sculpture, works on and from paper and photography.
The current exhibition, Let there be light presents light installations, light sculptures, photographs and videos that explore light and runs from February to June, opening 4-6 days per month for pre-booked tours.
art & sculpture in the vines
Pt Leo Estate Sculpture Park
Wine, food and sculpture collide with stunning 180 degree sea views at the Pt Leo Sculpture Park on the Mornington Peninsula, an hour and a half south of Melbourne.
Visitors can walk around an outdoor gallery of over 50 international and international pieces on carefully curated walks of 30 or 60 minutes, followed by wine tasting and fine dining in the cellar door and restaurant.
Mitchelton Gallery of Aboriginal Art
One of Australia’s largest commercial collections of indigenous art is only a 90 minute drive from Melbourne, hidden beneath the iconic tower of the Mitchelton Estate Winery in Nagambie.
Established by Mitchelton owner Gerry Ryan and Adam Knight, President of the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia, the gallery displays more than 30 artworks from 15 different indigenous communities.
Tarrawarra Museum of Art
Boasting striking views of the TarraWarra Estate vineyards and rolling hills of the Yarra Valley, the TarraWarra Museum of Art was Australia’s first privately-funded public museum.
Assembled from the private collection of founders, Eva and Marc Besen the gallery combines stunning architecture with a wealth of modern and contemporary Australian art.