* MELBOURNE 2 February 2011 Tweet
NGV 150 Years Launch and unveiling of ‘Marino Marini – Rider’ - Story and photos by Stephanie Ryan-Smith (Ed. MiSociety)
NGV announces what’s on for their 150th birthday. Victorian Premier and Minister for the Arts Mr Ted Baillieu proclaims “The NGV gallery story is our story of Victoria”
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has reached its 150th milestone year, and today I joined a huge media contingent gathered at the NGV for it’s 150th birthday announcements.
NGV was founded in 1861 being Australia’s first public art gallery. NGV has a long, rich and eventful history filled with fascinating tales spanning from its very beginnings.
Victorian Premier and Minister for the Arts Mr Ted Baillieu proclaimed in his media address “The gallery story is our story of Victoria.” The NGV being a place so textured and layered with Australian history and the generosity of so many, the philanthropic history of NGV will also be celebrated this year by highlighting in particular the outstanding achievements of the Felton Bequest which was established in 1904 by Melbourne businessman Mr Alfred Felton.
The director of NGV Dr Gerard Vaughan, President of The National Gallery of Victoria Council of Trustees Mr Allan Myers, Lord Mayor of Melbourne Mr Robert Doyle, and the grandson of philanthropic supporter of NGV Mrs Loti Smorgon, Mr Peter Edwards, also gave eloquent, humble, optimistic and energetic speeches along with Ted Baillieu. Robert Doyle finished his address off perfectly by saying “This is our gallery. We love it. Happy Birthday!” The overall messages that were conveyed projected vibrancy, grounding, and a high momentum for the future plans ahead for NGV and the Melbourne arts community.
Speakers for the NGV were able to boast of the many new developments being introduced for its 150th year, such as major acquisitions, gallery renovations and two new contemporary spaces. Australia Post will be launching a new series of stamps featuring works from the NGV collection, and there will be an online competition where the public can vote for the top 10 favourite art works from the NGV collection.
Marino Marini’s ‘Rider’ sculpture was ceremonisly unveiled as a highlight of the launch. ’Rider’ by Marino Marini was donated by Loti Smorgon in memory and honour of her late husband Victor Smorgon. The Smorgon family have made tremendous contributions to NGV over the years and have continued this generosity by making this latest contribution.
Kate Cebrano lead the Australian Youth Choir to round off the announcements, appropriately singing ‘happy birthday’.
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