Melbourne art is a surprisingly diverse area for a region so close to the wild lands of the Australian desert. Between some art galleries, art museums, and art events, the city offers much by way of visual arts of all kinds and is especially renowned for its street art and some of the beautiful murals and painted vehicles have wowed audiences across the world. While Melbourne's amazing paintings must be seen to believed, there are also some art museums of note in the city as well.
Heide Museum of Modern Art
This museum began in 1934 as a private residence that swiftly evolved into one of the nation's most unusual destinations for contemporary, modern and sometimes just plain surprising art. Twenty minutes from the city by car, Heide, as it is known to local art lovers, has fifteen acres of gardens laced with modern sculptures, a trio of full-fledged exhibition spaces, two kitchen gardens rich with history and a sculpture park.
The Ian Potter Centre Australia
Located on Flinders and Russel Streets inside of Federation Square, the Ian Potter Centre hosts a wide range of art from Australian, with collections of both Indigenous Australian art and non-Indigenous Australian art starting at the colonial period of Australia and stretching into the present day. It bears the distinction of having more uniquely Australian art placed on permanent display than anywhere else in the world. The Ian Potter Centre also hosts some ever-changing exhibitions and programs, as well as the opportunity to see the city of Melbourne through its unusual glass matrix.
Though the museum has over 20,000 works of art, only about approximately 800 are on display at any one time, and many of these are often rotated in and out to allow visitors to see a wider range of Australia-based artworks. Visitors to the permanent collections may view it during regular open hours free of charge. Special exhibitions may charge a fee, but these costs are widely advertised.
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Also known as the ACCA, this museum is Australia's most renowned gallery of contemporary art, bringing together both Australian and international artists and other creative thinkers and allowing them access to new audiences. Seen as an essential element of the Melbourne experience, the ACCA is free of charge to those who wish to enter during open hours. The gallery has a unique program of reaching out to the artistic community for new commissions and exhibitions of the work of living artists, as well as ambitious programs intended to encourage the production of new art.
National Gallery of Victoria
The NGV is two large galleries located a very short distance from each other, both of which are free of charge for entry into the permanent collections. Displaying a wide range of international art, artwork from Oceania, the Americas, Asia, and Europe are all on display and have been since 1968. One of the most impressive art collections in the Southern Hemisphere, the NGV also offers some temporary exhibits as well. Nothing beats going to Melb, VIC and seeing it for yourself.