Inspiring learning with art and design

William Wegman: Being Human

The NGV presents the enigmatic work of William Wegman, renowned as a versatile artist who resists an easy classification, moving easily between painting, drawing, photography, film, video, books and performances.

When a Weimaraner joined the artist’s family in 1970, and showed both an aptitude and a passion for performance before the camera, Wegman had found his muse. Named Man Ray, in honour of one of Wegman’s most admired modern artists, this dog was the first in a line of highly spirited performers and became one of his most celebrated subjects.

For Wegman, his dogs, as his muses, have been both the object of an artist’s obsessive gaze, and at other times participants in a collaborative act. His world may revolve around his celebrated dogs, but Wegman’s choices of sets, costumes and props reveal a fascination with art history – cubism, colour field painting, abstract expressionism, constructivism, conceptualism and, of course, photography itself.

This exhibition has been produced by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis/ New York/Paris/Lausanne, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Self-guided Visits

Introduce your students to William Wegman: Being Human. Bookings are required for all school groups.
Cost Free

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Learning Programs

Dogs on show
Levels 3–6

Join us on an adventure through Wegman’s magical world of dogs. Discover how the artist uses his imagination to create thought-provoking photographs of these loveable creatures in unexpected human poses and costumes. This lively introduction will engage students’ interest and curiosity through discussion, challenging questions and storytelling inspired by the exhibition.
Cost $8 (one hour)

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The changing face of portraiture
Levels 5–10

Explore new ways of thinking about portraiture. Discover how Wegman selects pose, props and costume to create imaginative portraits of dogs, reflecting both human behaviours and his fascination with movements in art history. Students will also have the opportunity to compare Wegman’s contemporary works with portraits in the NGV Collection from different times, cultures and contexts.
Cost $8 (one hour)

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