Netherlands Institute for Art History
The Netherlands Institute for Art History or RKD is located in The Hague and is home to the largest art history center in the world. The center specializes in documentation and books on Western art from the late Middle Ages until modern times. All of this is open to the public, much of it has been digitized and is available on their website; the main goal of the bureau is to collect and make art research available, most notably in the field of Dutch Masters. Via the available databases, the visitor can gain insight into archival evidence on the lives of many artists of past centuries; the library owns 450,000 titles, of which ca. 150,000 are auction catalogs. There are ca. 3,000 magazines, of which 600 are running subscriptions. Though most of the text is in Dutch, the standard record format includes a link to library entries and images of known works, which include English as well as Dutch titles; the RKD manages the Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus, a thesaurus of terms for management of information on art and architecture.
The original version is an initiative of the Getty Research Institute in California. The collection was started through bequests by Frits Lugt, art historian and owner of a massive collection of drawings and prints, Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, a collector, art historian and museum curator, their bequest formed the basis for both the art collection and the library, now housed in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Though not all of the library's holdings have been digitised, much of its metadata is accessible online; the website itself is available in both an English user interface. In the artist database RKDartists, each artist is assigned a record number. To reference an artist page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/ followed by the artist's record number. For example, the artist record number for Salvador Dalí is 19752, so his RKD artist page can be referenced. In the images database RKDimages, each artwork is assigned a record number.
To reference an artwork page directly, use the code listed at the bottom of the record of the form: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/ followed by the artwork's record number. For example, the artwork record number for The Night Watch is 3063, so its RKD artwork page can be referenced; the Art and Architecture Thesaurus assigns a record for each term, but these can not be referenced online by record number. Rather, they are used in the databases and the databases can be searched for terms. For example, the painting called "The Night Watch" is a militia painting, all records fitting this keyword can be seen by selecting this from the image screen; the thesaurus is a set of general terms, but the RKD contains a database for an alternate form of describing artworks, that today is filled with biblical references. This is the iconclass database. To see all images that depict Miriam's dance, the associated iconclass code 71E1232 can be used as a special search term. Official website Direct link to the databases The Dutch version of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter, among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life, they include landscapes, still lifes and self-portraits, are characterised by bold colours and dramatic and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. However, he was not commercially successful, his suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty. Born into an upper-middle-class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious and thoughtful; as a young man he worked as an art dealer travelling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium, he drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially, the two kept up a long correspondence by letter.
His early works still lifes and depictions of peasant labourers, contain few signs of the vivid colour that distinguished his work. In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met members of the avant-garde, including Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who were reacting against the Impressionist sensibility; as his work developed he created a new approach to still lifes and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter in colour as he developed a style that became realised during his stay in Arles in the south of France in 1888. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include series of olive trees, wheat fields and sunflowers. Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily, his friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor when, in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet.
His depression continued and on 27 July 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a Lefaucheux revolver. He died from his injuries two days later. Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime, was considered a madman and a failure, he became famous after his suicide, exists in the public imagination as the quintessential misunderstood genius, the artist "where discourses on madness and creativity converge". His reputation began to grow in the early 20th century as elements of his painting style came to be incorporated by the Fauves and German Expressionists, he attained widespread critical and popular success over the ensuing decades, is remembered as an important but tragic painter, whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured artist. Today, Van Gogh's works are among the world's most expensive paintings to have sold at auction, his legacy is honoured by a museum in his name, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which holds the world's largest collection of his paintings and drawings.
The most comprehensive primary source on Van Gogh is the correspondence between him and his younger brother, Theo. Their lifelong friendship, most of what is known of Vincent's thoughts and theories of art, are recorded in the hundreds of letters they exchanged from 1872 until 1890. Theo van Gogh was an art dealer and provided his brother with financial and emotional support, access to influential people on the contemporary art scene. Theo kept all of Vincent's letters to him. After both had died, Theo's widow Johanna arranged for the publication of some of their letters. A few appeared in 1906 and 1913. Vincent's letters are eloquent and expressive and have been described as having a "diary-like intimacy", read in parts like autobiography; the translator Arnold Pomerans wrote that their publication adds a "fresh dimension to the understanding of Van Gogh's artistic achievement, an understanding granted us by no other painter". There are more than 600 letters from around 40 from Theo to Vincent.
There are 22 to his sister Wil, 58 to the painter Anthon van Rappard, 22 to Émile Bernard as well as individual letters to Paul Signac, Paul Gauguin and the critic Albert Aurier. Some are illustrated with sketches. Many are undated. Problems in transcription and dating remain with those posted from Arles. While there Vincent wrote around 200 letters in Dutch and English. There is a gap in the record when he lived in Paris as the brothers lived together and had no need to correspond. Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on 30 March 1853 into a Dutch Reformed family in Groot-Zundert, in the predominantly Catholic province of North Brabant in the southern Netherlands, he was the oldest surviving child of Theodorus van Gogh, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, Anna Cornelia Carbentus. Van Gogh was given the name of his grandfather, of a brother stillborn a year before his birth. Vincent was a common name in the Van Gogh family: his grandfather, who received a degree in theology at the University of Leiden in 1811, had six sons, three of whom became art dealers.
This Vincent may have been named after a sculptor. Van Gogh's mother came from a prosperous family in The Hague, his father was the youngest son of a minister; the two
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a French post-Impressionist artist. Unappreciated until after his death, Gauguin is now recognized for his experimental use of color and Synthetist style that were distinctly different from Impressionism. Toward the end of his life, he spent ten years in French Polynesia, most of his paintings from this time depict people or landscapes from that region, his work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Gauguin's art became popular after his death from the efforts of art dealer Ambroise Vollard, who organized exhibitions of his work late in his career and assisted in organizing two important posthumous exhibitions in Paris. Gauguin was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, printmaker and writer, his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was an influential proponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.
Gauguin was born in Paris to Clovis Gauguin and Alina Maria Chazal on June 7, 1848. His birth coincided with revolutionary upheavals throughout Europe that year, his father, a 34-year-old liberal journalist, came from a family of petits bourgeois entrepreneurs residing in Orléans. He was compelled to flee France when the newspaper for which he wrote was suppressed by French authorities. Gauguin's mother was the 22-year-old daughter of André Chazal, an engraver, Flora Tristan, an author and activist in early socialist movements, their union ended when André assaulted his wife Flora and was sentenced to prison for attempted murder. Paul Gauguin's maternal grandmother, Flora Tristan, was the illegitimate daughter of Thérèse Laisnay and Don Mariano de Tristan Moscoso. Details of Thérèse's family background are not known, he was an officer of the Dragoons. Members of the wealthy Tristan Moscoso family held powerful positions in Peru. Nonetheless, Don Mariano's unexpected death plunged his daughter Flora into poverty.
When Flora's marriage with André failed, she petitioned for and obtained a small monetary settlement from her father's Peruvian relatives. She sailed to Peru in hopes of enlarging her share of the Tristan Moscoso family fortune; this never materialized. An active supporter of early socialist societies, Gauguin's maternal grandmother helped to lay the foundations for the 1848 revolutionary movements. Placed under surveillance by French police and suffering from overwork, she died in 1844, her grandson Paul "idolized his grandmother, kept copies of her books with him to the end of his life."In 1850, Clovis Gauguin departed for Peru with his wife Alina and young children in hopes of continuing his journalistic career under the auspices of his wife's South American relations. He died of a heart attack en route, Alina arrived in Peru a widow with the 18-month-old Paul and his 2½ year-old sister, Marie. Gauguin's mother was welcomed by her paternal granduncle, whose son-in-law would shortly assume the presidency of Peru.
To the age of six, Paul enjoyed a privileged upbringing, attended by servants. He retained a vivid memory of that period of his childhood which instilled "indelible impressions of Peru that haunted him the rest of his life."Gauguin's idyllic childhood ended abruptly when his family mentors fell from political power during Peruvian civil conflicts in 1854. Aline returned to France with her children, leaving Paul with his paternal grandfather, Guillaume Gauguin, in Orléans. Deprived by the Peruvian Tristan Moscoso clan of a generous annuity arranged by her granduncle, Alina settled in Paris to work as a dressmaker. After attending a couple of local schools, Gauguin was sent to the prestigious Catholic boarding school Petit Séminaire de La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, he spent three years at the school. At age fourteen, he entered the Loriol Institute in Paris, a naval preparatory school, before returning to Orléans to take his final year at the Lycée Jeanne D'Arc. Gauguin signed on as a pilot's assistant in the merchant marine.
Three years he joined the French navy in which he served for two years. His mother died on 7 July 1867, but he did not learn of it for several months until a letter from his sister Marie caught up with him in India. In 1871, Gauguin returned to Paris. A close family friend, Gustave Arosa, got him a job at the Paris Bourse, he remained one for the next 11 years. In 1879 he was earning 30,000 francs a year as a stockbroker, as much again in his dealings in the art market, but in 1882 the Paris stock market crashed and the art market contracted. Gauguin's earnings deteriorated and he decided to pursue painting full-time. In 1873, he married Mette-Sophie Gad. Over the next ten years, they had five children: Émile. By 1884, Gauguin had moved with his family to Copenhagen, where he pursued a business career as a tarpaulin salesman, it was not a success: He could not speak Danish, the Danes did not want French tarpaulins. Mette became the chief breadwinner, his middle-class family and marriage fell apart after 11 years when Gauguin was driven to paint full-time.
He returned to Paris in
Formica is a genus of ants of the family Formicidae known as wood ants, mound ants, thatching ants, field ants. Formica is the type genus of the Formicidae, of the subfamily Formicinae; the type species of genus Formica is the European red wood ant Formica rufa. Ants of this genus tend to be between 8 mm long; as the name wood ant implies, many Formica species live in wooded areas where no shortage of material exists with which they can thatch their mounds. One shade-tolerant species is F. lugubris. However, sunlight is important to most Formica species, colonies survive for any considerable period in shaded, dense woodland; the majority of species outside the F. rufa species group, are inhabitants of more open woodlands or treeless grassland or shrubland. In North America, at least, these habitats had a long history of frequent landscape-scale fires that kept them open before European settlement. Conversion to agriculture and fire suppression have reduced the abundance of most American Formica species, while the cessation of traditional haycutting seems to have had the same effect in Europe.
However, at least a few Formica species may be found in a wide range of habitats from cities to seasides to grasslands to swamps to forests of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. In more suburban landscapes, they tend to nest near structures such as sidewalks, fences, or building foundations. Mound-building, forest-dwelling Formica spp; such as F. rufa have a considerable effect on their environments. They maintain large populations of aphids on the secretions of which they feed, which the ants defend from other predators, they prey on other insects. In fact in many countries they are introduced in forests to control tree pests, such as swains jack pine sawfly and eastern tent caterpillars in North America; the effects of mound-building grassland species such as F. montana are not well-studied, but their local abundance, conspicuous mound-building and frequent association with aphids and membracids points to a comparably important ecological role. Formica nests are of many different types from simple shaft-and-chamber excavations in soil with a small crater or turret of soil above to large mounds, under stones or logs, or in stumps.
None is arboreal. The genus is abundant in both the Palearctic regions. Due to their large size and diurnal activity, they are among the more seen ants in northern North America; some species, including F. rufa, common in Southern England, make large, visible thatch nests of dry plant stems, leaves, or conifer needles based around a rotting stump. Most Formica species are polygynous, some are polydomous. Queens may be singly or multiply mated, may or may not be related. Formica polyctena has polygynous colonies. Wood ants secrete formic acid, they can be large: F. rufa workers can reach a maximum length around 10 mm. The eastern US species F. dolosa and the western F. ravida may be longer. Ants are eusocial organisms - the individuals of the species work together to survive, produce the next generation, accomplish tasks which cannot be accomplished alone. Unlike other ants, the genus Formica does not have separate castes, which are based on an individual's specialization and morphology. For example, F. selysi, a species native to floodplains, has developed a method to deal with flooding.
Individual ants come together to form a living raft to survive the flood. Individual ants tend to take the position in the raft; this return to the same role in the raft is an example of specialization. Formica ants are notable for their slave-making behaviors; the three categories are: In the F. exsecta and F. rufa-microgyna groups, virgin queens cannot start colonies on their own, but invade colonies of other groups and by various processes oust the host queen and have the host workers help them raise their own brood. The colony consists of only the invading queen's offspring; this is called temporary social parasitism. In the F. sanguinea group, colonies are started as above, but in some species, workers raid colonies of other groups for new workers to act as a work force, so-called slaves. F. sanguinea performs this behavior. Some species of this group need to do this to survive, for others; the F. pallidefulva, F. neogagates, F. fusca groups are those most parasitized by the above groups. They are enslaved by ants of the genus Polyergus.
The evolution of this behavior is believed to have been derived from the common habit of many Formica species of adopting mated queens into established colonies. Indeed, in many of the parasitic species outside the "slave-makers", this "secondary polygyny" is common; as of 2018, Formica contains 59 extinct species. Species include: Klotz, J. H.. "Formicinae". Urban ants of North America and Europe: identification and management. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-7473-6. Media related to Formica at Wikimedia Commons
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand's national museum, located in Wellington. Known as Te Papa, or'Our Place', it opened in 1998 after the merging of the National Museum and the National Art Gallery. More than 1.5 million people visit every year. Te Papa Tongarewa translates to'Container of Treasures'. A fuller interpretation is ‘our container of treasured things and people that spring from mother earth here in New Zealand’. Te Papa's philosophy emphasises the living face behind its cultural treasures, many of which retain deep ancestral links to the indigenous Māori people; the Museum recognises the partnership, created by the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, te Tiriti o Waitangi, in 1840. The first predecessor of Te Papa was the Colonial Museum, founded in 1865, with James Hector as founding director, it was built on Museum Street. Halfway through the 1930s the museum moved to the new Dominion Museum building in Buckle Street, where the National Art Gallery of New Zealand was housed.
The National Art Gallery was opened in 1936 and occupied the first floor of the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum building on Buckle Street, Wellington. It was populated with a collection donated by Academy of Fine Arts; the Gallery was formed with the passing of the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum Act in 1930. Both the Dominion Museum and Gallery were overseen by a single board of trustees; the official opening was by the Governor General in 1934. The early holding consisted of donations and bequests, including those from Harold Beauchamp, T. Lindsay Buick, Archdeacon Smythe, N. Chevalier, J. C. Richmond, William Swainson, Bishop Monrad, John Ilott and Rex Nan Kivell. Eru D. Gore was secretary-manager from 1936 till his death in 1948 when Stewart Bell Maclennan was appointed the first director; this was the first appointment in New Zealand of a full-time art gallery director. Past directors of the gallery include: Stewart Bell Maclennan Melvin Day Luit Bieringa Jenny Harper Te Papa was established in 1992 by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992.
Part of the remit for Te Papa was to explore the national identity of New Zealand. The official opening took place on 14 February 1998, in a ceremony led by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, Sir Peter Blake, two children; the first chief executive of the Museum was Cheryll Sotheran. Māori traditional instrumentalist Richard Nunns co-led the musicians at a dawn ceremony on opening day; the museum is run by a board appointed by the Minister for Arts and Heritage. Board members have included: Wira Gardiner, Fiona Campbell, Sue Piper, Judith Tizard, John Judge, Miria Pomare, Michael Bassett, Christopher Parkin, Sandra Lee, Ngātata Love, Ronald Trotter, Glenys Coughlan, Judith Binney, Philip Carter, Wendy Lai; the museum had one million visitors in the first five months of operation, between 1 and 1.3 million visits have been made in each subsequent year. In 2004, more space was devoted to exhibiting works from the New Zealand art collection in a long-term exhibition called Toi Te Papa: Art of the Nation.
Filmmakers Gaylene Preston and Anna Cottrell documented the development of Te Papa in their film Getting to Our Place. The museum has sometimes been the center of controversy; the siting of significant collections at the water's edge on reclaimed land next to one of the world's most active faults has resulted in concern by some people. There has been criticism of the'sideshow' nature of some exhibits the Time Warp section, which has closed. There has been criticism that some exhibits were not given due reverence. For example, a major work by Colin McCahon was at one stage juxtaposed with a 1950s refrigerator in a New Zealand culture exhibition. New Zealand art commentator Hamish Keith has been a consistent critic of Te Papa at different times referring to it as a "theme park", the "cultural equivalent to a fast-food outlet" and "not a de facto national gallery", but seemed to moderate his opinion when making a case for exhibition space on the Auckland waterfront. Staff restructuring at Te Papa since 2012 has generated significant controversy.
In October 2018, Te Papa management promised to review restructuring plans, indicating that plans would be scaled back. In February 2019, the Collection Manager of Fishes Andrew Stewart and the Collection Manager of Molluscs Bruce Marshall were made redundant. Numerous museum experts and scientists in New Zealand and worldwide criticised the move, with some threatening a boycott. In March 2019, the redundancies were delayed. Te Papa advertised a research position for a molluscan curator, criticised by outside experts again. In April 2019, the Museum reversed the decision for Andrew Stewart; the main Te Papa building is on Cable Street. Inside the building are six floors of exhibitions, cafés and gift shops dedicated to New Zealand's culture and environment; the museum incorporates outdoor areas with artificial caves, native bushes and wetlands. A second building on Tory Street is a scientific research facility and storage area, is not open to the public. Te Papa was built by Fletcher Construction.
The 36,000-square-metre building had cost NZ$300 million by its opening in 1998. Earthquake strengthening of the Cable Street building was achieved through the New Zealand-developed technology of base isolation – seating the entire building on supports made from lead and rubber that slow down the effect of an earthquake; the site was occupied by a modern five-storey hotel. This was jacked off its foundations onto numerous rail bogies and transported 200 metres down and across the road to a n
Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman and sculptor, but is known as a painter. Matisse is regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture; the intense colorism of the works he painted between 1900 and 1905 brought him notoriety as one of the Fauves. Many of his finest works were created in the decade or so after 1906, when he developed a rigorous style that emphasized flattened forms and decorative pattern. In 1917 he relocated to a suburb of Nice on the French Riviera, the more relaxed style of his work during the 1920s gained him critical acclaim as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. After 1930, he adopted a bolder simplification of form; when ill health in his final years prevented him from painting, he created an important body of work in the medium of cut paper collage.
His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art. Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, in the Nord department in Northern France, the oldest son of a prosperous grain merchant, he grew up in Bohain-en-Vermandois, France. In 1887 he went to Paris to study law, working as a court administrator in Le Cateau-Cambrésis after gaining his qualification, he first started to paint in 1889, after his mother brought him art supplies during a period of convalescence following an attack of appendicitis. He discovered "a kind of paradise" as he described it, decided to become an artist disappointing his father. In 1891 he returned to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian and became a student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Gustave Moreau, he painted still lifes and landscapes in a traditional style, at which he achieved reasonable proficiency. Matisse was influenced by the works of earlier masters such as Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Nicolas Poussin, Antoine Watteau, as well as by modern artists, such as Édouard Manet, by Japanese art.
Chardin was one of the painters Matisse most admired. In 1896, Matisse, an unknown art student at the time, visited the Australian painter John Russell on the island Belle Île off the coast of Brittany. Russell introduced him to Impressionism and to the work of Vincent van Gogh—who had been a friend of Russell—and gave him a Van Gogh drawing. Matisse's style changed completely, he said "Russell was my teacher, Russell explained colour theory to me." The same year, Matisse exhibited five paintings in the salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, two of which were purchased by the state. With the model Caroline Joblau, he had a daughter, born in 1894. In 1898 he married Amélie Noellie Parayre. Marguerite and Amélie served as models for Matisse. In 1898, on the advice of Camille Pissarro, he went to London to study the paintings of J. M. W. Turner and went on a trip to Corsica. Upon his return to Paris in February 1899, he worked beside Albert Marquet and met André Derain, Jean Puy, Jules Flandrin.
Matisse immersed himself in the work of others and went into debt from buying work from painters he admired. The work he hung and displayed in his home included a plaster bust by Rodin, a painting by Gauguin, a drawing by van Gogh, Cézanne's Three Bathers. In Cézanne's sense of pictorial structure and colour, Matisse found his main inspiration. Many of Matisse's paintings from 1898 to 1901 make use of a Divisionist technique he adopted after reading Paul Signac's essay, "D'Eugène Delacroix au Néo-impressionisme", his paintings of 1902–03, a period of material hardship for the artist, are comparatively somber and reveal a preoccupation with form. Having made his first attempt at sculpture, a copy after Antoine-Louis Barye, in 1899, he devoted much of his energy to working in clay, completing The Slave in 1903. Fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910; the movement as such lasted only a few years, 1904–1908, had three exhibitions. The leaders of the movement were André Derain.
Matisse's first solo exhibition was without much success. His fondness for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he spent the summer of 1904 painting in St. Tropez with the neo-Impressionists Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. In that year he painted the most important of his works in the neo-Impressionist style, Calme et Volupté. In 1905 he travelled southwards again to work with André Derain at Collioure, his paintings of this period are characterised by flat shapes and controlled lines, using pointillism in a less rigorous way than before. Matisse and a group of artists now known as "Fauves" exhibited together in a room at the Salon d'Automne in 1905; the paintings expressed emotion with wild dissonant colours, without regard for the subject's natural colours. Matisse showed Open Woman with the Hat at the Salon. Critic Louis Vauxcelles commented on a lone sculpture surround by an "orgie of pure tones" as "Donatello chez les fauves", referring to a Renaissance-type sculpture that shared the room with them.
His comment was printed on 17 October 1905 in Gil Blas, a daily newspaper, passed
National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria, popularly known as the NGV, is an art museum in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1861, it is Australia's oldest and most visited art museum; the NGV houses an encyclopedic art collection across two sites: NGV International, located on St Kilda Road in the Melbourne Arts Precinct of Southbank, the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, located nearby at Federation Square. The NGV International building, designed by Sir Roy Grounds, opened in 1968, was redeveloped by Mario Bellini before reopening in 2003, it is on the Victorian Heritage Register. Designed by Lab Architecture Studio, the Ian Potter Centre opened in 2002 and houses the gallery's Australian art collection. Victoria was granted separation from New South Wales in 1850, becoming effective on 1 July 1851. In the wake of the Victorian gold rush that began in August 1851, the new colony became Australia's richest, Melbourne, its capital, the largest and wealthiest city in Australia. With Melbourne's rapid growth came calls for the establishment of a public art gallery, in 1859, the Government of Victoria pledged £2000 for the acquisition of plaster casts of sculpture.
These works were displayed in the Museum of Art, opened by Governor Sir Henry Barkly in May 1861 on the lower floor of the south wing of the Public Library on Swanston Street. Further money was set aside in the early 1860s for the purchase of original paintings by British and Victorian artists; these works were first displayed in December 1864 in the newly opened Picture Gallery, which remained under the curatorial administration of the Public Library until 1882. Grand designs for a building fronting Lonsdale and Swanston streets were drawn by Nicholas Chevalier in 1860 and Frederick Grosse in 1865, featuring an enormous and elaborate library and gallery, but the visions were never realised. On 24 May 1874, the first purpose built gallery, known as the McArthur Gallery, opened in the McArthur room of the State Library, the following year, the Museum of Art was renamed the National Gallery of Victoria; the McArthur Gallery was only intended as a temporary home until the much grander vision was to be realised.
However such an edifice did not eventuate and the complex was instead developed incrementally over several decades. The National Gallery of Victoria Art School, associated with the gallery, was founded in 1867 and remained the leading centre for academic art training in Australia until about 1910; the School's graduates went on to become some of Australia's most significant artists. In 1887, the Buvelot Gallery was opened, along with the Painting School studios. In 1892, two more galleries were added: Stawell and La Trobe; the gallery's collection was built from both gifts of works of art and monetary donations. The most significant, the Felton Bequest, was established by the will of Alfred Felton and from 1904, has been used to purchase over 15,000 works of art. Since the Felton Bequest, the gallery had long held plans to build a permanent facility, however it was not until 1943 that the State Government chose a site, Wirth's Park, just south of the Yarra River. £3 million was put forward in February 1960 and Roy Grounds was announced as the architect.
In 1959, the commission to design a new gallery was awarded to the architectural firm Grounds Romberg Boyd. In 1962, Roy Grounds split from his partners Frederick Romberg and Robin Boyd, retained the commission, designed the gallery at 180 St Kilda Road; the new bluestone clad building was completed in December 1967 and Victorian premier Henry Bolte opened it on 20 August 1968. One of the features of the building is the Leonard French stained glass ceiling, one of the world's largest pieces of suspended stained glass, which casts colourful light on the floor below; the water-wall entrance is another well-known feature of the building. In 1999, redevelopment of the building was proposed, with Mario Bellini chosen as architect and an estimated project cost of $161.9 million. The proposal was to leave the original architectural fabric intact including the exterior facade and Leonard French stained glass ceiling, but to modernise the interior. During the redevelopment, many works were moved to a temporary external annex known as NGV on Russell, at the State Library with its entrance on Russell Street.
A major fundraising drive was launched on 10 October 2000 to redevelop the ageing facility and although the state government committed the majority of the funds, private donations were sought in addition to federal funding. The drive achieved its aim and secured $15 million from the Ian Potter Foundation on 11 July 2000, $3 million from Lotti Smorgon, $2 million from the Clemenger Foundation, $1 million each from James Fairfax and the Pratt Foundation. NGV on Russell closed on 30 June 2002 to make way for the staged opening of the new St Kilda Road gallery, it was opened by premier Steve Bracks on 4 December 2003. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia in Federation Square was designed by Lab Architecture Studio to house the NGV's Australian art collection, it opened in 2002. As such, the NGV's collection is now housed in two separate buildings, with Grounds' building renamed NGV International; the NGV's Asian art collection began in 1862, one year after the gallery's founding, when Frederick Dalgety donated two Chinese plates.
The Asian collection has since grown to include significant works from across the continent. The NGV's Australian art collection encompasses Indigenous art and artefacts, Australian colonial art, Australian Impressionist art, 20th century and contemporary art; the 1880s saw the birth and development of