Exhibitions opened in 2009 

  • 02 Dec 2009 – 27 Jun 2010

    DrapeClassical Mode to Contemporary Dress

    Drawing predominantly on the NGV collection, Drape features fashion, sculpture, painting, decorative arts and photography from antiquity to now to explore the practice of draping cloth on the body. Designers featured include Rei Kawakubo, Vivienne Westwood, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Hussein Chalayan.

  • 27 Nov 2009 – 21 Mar 2010

    Wisdom of the MountainArt of the Ömie

    This exhibition - the NGV’s first exhibition of contemporary art from Papua New Guinea - showcases a beautiful selection of more than 30 barkcloths created by women from the Ömie tribe. This small tribe of less than 2,000 people lives on the steep, south-eastern slopes of Mount Lamington, Oro Province.

  • 16 Oct 2009 – 28 Feb 2010

    Ricky SwallowThe Bricoleur

    Ricky Swallow’s art investigates how memory is distilled within the objects of daily life. This exhibition - the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in Australia since 2006 - features Swallow's intricately carved wooden sculptures, new sculptural works in wood, bronze and plaster and two large groups of watercolours.

  • 16 Oct 2009 – 04 Apr 2010


    Re-view traces the evolution of photography from the 1840s to now through some of the best loved and most remarkable international photographs in the NGV’s Collection. Artists featured include Julia Margaret Cameron, Nadar, László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, Ansel Adams, Robert Frank and Boyd Webb.

  • 09 Oct 2009 – 14 Mar 2010

    ChinoiserieAsia in Europe 1620–1840

    'Chinoiserie' was coined in the 19th century for a decorative style that takes its inspiration from Asian art and design but ultimately reflects European visions of Asia. This exhibition illustrates the development of the style through the NGV’s stunning collection of European and Asian decorative arts, as well as key loans.

  • 30 Sep 2009 – 18 Apr 2010

    Together AloneAustralian and New Zealand Fashion

    As close neighbours, Australia and New Zealand share common fashion ground. Drawing largely on recent acquisitions, Together Alone highlights the dynamic practices of eight leading Australian and New Zealand fashion houses – Akira Isogawa, Toni Maticevski, MaterialByProduct, Romance Was Born, Doris de Pont, World, Nom*D and Zambesi.

  • 17 Sep 2009 – 07 Feb 2010

    2009 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award

    This is a triennial exhibition and award that celebrates the ongoing achievement of some of Australia’s most distinguished contemporary artists. The award was established by Joan and Peter Clemenger through a generous gift to the NGV in 1991. This is the sixth and final award in the series.

  • 27 Aug 2009 – 21 Feb 2010

    Long Distance VisionThree Australian Photographers

    This exhibition examines the idea of the ‘tourist gaze’ and its relationship with three contemporary Australian photographers: Christine Godden, Max Pam and Matthew Sleeth. All have photographed aspects of the everyday at home but have also ventured forth in the world with the delighted, but not uncritical, eyes of the traveller.

  • 21 Aug 2009 – 31 Jan 2010

    Building a CollectionRecent Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings

    The NGV’s Prints and Drawings Collection encompasses Australian and international works on paper, and spans some seven hundred years, from the 15th to the 21st centuries. This exhibition presents a selection of acquisitions made for this collection since 2002 to showcase the extraordinary range of material acquired and reveal collecting directions.

  • 18 Jul 2009 – 13 Sep 2009

    Draw the LineThe Architecture of LAB

    This exhibition presents the process of architectural design through the material of the Federation Square NGV archive together with LAB’s subsequent projects. It explains how architects think about their designs and how concepts and processes become realised as architecture. The exhibition consists of conceptual material, working drawings and models.

  • 13 Jun 2009 – 04 Oct 2009

    Salvador DalíLiquid Desire

    The sixth exhibition in the NGV’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire brings together more than 200 stunning works by Salvador Dalí in all media including painting, drawing, watercolour, etchings, sculpture, fashion, jewellery, cinema and photography.

  • 22 May 2009 – 08 Nov 2009

    PersuasionFashion in the Age of Jane Austen

    This exhibition retraces the dynamic changes in fashion during Jane Austen’s lifetime. Featuring more than 70 works, with most from the NGV Collection, Persuasion surveys the period 1770-1830 and includes fashion, prints and drawings, decorative arts and paintings, with a focus on English women’s dress from the early 19th century.

  • 15 May 2009 – 04 Oct 2009

    Five Elements – Water

    Master Tetsunori Kawana is an internationally renowned practitioner of contemporary Japanese bamboo sculpture. In Five Elements – Water, Master Kawana transforms the Grollo-Equiset Garden at NGV International with a unique bamboo sculpture of vast physical proportion and lyrical power.

  • 08 May 2009 – 27 Sep 2009

    Light YearsPhotography and Space

    This exhibition of photographs drawn from the NGV Collection focuses predominantly on the 1960s and 1970s, an exciting time for the artistic and scientific exploration of worlds beyond our own. These were ‘light years’ when people looked up to the skies and beyond, and through photography discovered additional dimensions.

  • 17 Apr 2009 – 06 Sep 2009

    Dressed to RuleImperial Robes of China

    Dressed to Rule exhibits imperial robes of China from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), including robes worn by the Qing Emperor of China and members of the imperial court. The exhibition also features some stunning accessories such as undergarments made of bamboo beads and silk `lotus' shoes for bound feet.

  • 25 Mar 2009 – 14 Jun 2009

    Top Arts: VCE 2008

    Top Arts: VCE 2008 presents outstanding work completed by young student artists as part of their assessment for VCE Art and Studio Arts. This exhibition highlights the NGV’s strong commitment and support of contemporary art, arts education and showcases the ideas and attitudes of young people.

  • 13 Mar 2009 – 02 Aug 2009

    Shared Sky

    Coinciding with the International Year of Astronomy, Shared Sky explores the cultural experience of the night sky over our southern continent. From Warmun in Western Australia to Melbourne in Victoria, artists of different cultural backgrounds and locales explore humanity's enduring psychological engagement with the southern stars over the centuries.

  • 12 Mar 2009 – 30 Aug 2009

    2009 Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award

    Established to support Victorian artists, this award is arguably the most prestigious of its kind in Australia and a reflection of the NGV’s ongoing commitment to contemporary craft and design practice. Exhibitions associated with the award are devoted to a particular design discipline: in 2009 the focus is on seat furniture design.

  • 27 Feb 2009 – 26 Jul 2009

    The Satirical EyeComedy and critique from Hogarth to Daumier

    This exhibition presents satirical art from England, Spain and France, focusing on the period 1730–1870. Drawn from the NGV’s extensive Prints & Drawings Collection, the works range from political satires which were aimed directly at prominent public figures, to scenarios that highlight fashions, fads and social manners as subjects of mockery.

  • 06 Feb 2009 – 26 Apr 2009

    BugattiCarlo Rembrandt Ettore Jean

    For most people the world of Bugatti is associated with cars. But the Bugatti story is a much larger one, encompassing three generations and four remarkable individuals: Carlo Bugatti, his sons Ettore and Rembrandt, and Ettore's son, Gianoberto (Jean). This exhibition showcases the furniture, sculpture and cars of this extraordinary family.

  • 22 Jan 2009 – 31 Mar 2010

    The Gallery Ark

    This National Gallery of Victoria Touring Exhibition presents works by artists from across the world to explore the differing relationships we share with animals. The exhibition has been designed especially for children and aims to encourage a sense of curiosity while also presenting some of the treasures of the NGV Collection.