Melbourne

From colonial outpost to contemporary metropolis, Melbourne is a city of many layers. See Melbourne in the making through the NGV Collection of Australian art.

  • Land of the Wurundjeri

    When the township of Melbourne was established in 1835, the area now called Victoria was home to hundreds of Aboriginal clans. The white settlement on the Yarra River was within the territory of the Wurundjeri people.

  • Making Melbourne –people and events

    Since the founding of Melbourne in 1835, the city has navigated its way through wealth and prosperity as well as economic depressions and the effects of war. Central to the story of Melbourne is a cast of colourful characters who have each left their own mark on the city.

  • Seeing Melbourne –now and then

    From colonial outpost to contemporary metropolis, Melbourne is a city of many layers. Artists have diligently recorded the maturing city, documenting and critiquing its transition from colonial times to the present day.

  • Beyond the city limits

    By the late nineteenth century, Melburnians were already in the habit of leaving the city to find freedom and fresh air on the city’s outskirts. Until the city’s sewage system was set up in 1891, there was strong incentive for Melburnians to escape ‘Marvellous Smellbourne’!

    And escape they did, travelling by the suburban rail network in search of nature, whether the beach, river or bush. With its fresh air and peacefulness, these places were seen as restorative and became the sites of leisure activities for tired urban dwellers.