Tuesday, October 3, 2017

National Gallery of Victoria

It was time for some 'culture' so we went to the National Gallery of Victory which lies just to the south of the Yarra River.

The NGV is at the bottom of the map across from the Gardens.

We took one of Melbourne's new style trams into the city.

A very pleasant ride took us to Southern Cross Station (formerly Spencer Street Station) where we walked along Collins Street to Swanston Street.  

Collins Street is Melbourne's most beautiful city street and it is lined with trees and still has numerous interesting buildings. Robin remarked it must be fun to be an architect in Melbourne. Even many of the more modern buildings are interesting.

Entrance into the old ANZ Bank. You can glimpse the splendour inside.

One of Melbourne's curiosities. To do a right turn in a street corner with tram lines, you have to move over to the left and wait until the green light turns red and then you make your turn. The idea is that cars turning right (across on-coming traffic) do not get in the the way of the trams.

It is known as a 'hook turn' and actually works fine. For American readers, substitute left for right and you might get the idea.

We ogled a collection of cakes and pies at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms at the entrance to the Block Arcade. They have been there since 1892. High Tea is a snip at just $55.

I wonder if it would be possible to sample one slice of everything. No doubt there are some women (and men) who have tried valiantly.

Inside the Block Arcade. Melbourne is famous for its arcades and this is one of the best two.

We reached Swanston Street and this is Collins Street looking back the way we had come.

If we had continued on past the Town Hall on the left, we would have come to the 'Paris End', famous for architecture, boutique shops and cafes.

The Yarra River. Back in 1973, I rowed in a four down this section.

We arrived at the NGV which was opened in 1968. It's frontage is quite dark and severe.

The wall of water at the entrance. 

The court yard which is now no longer austere like it was when I visited decades ago.

The Museum was hosting two special events, the House of Dior and Hokusai which included the famous Wave woodcut. Marianne and Robin braved the crowd and shuffled through the latter exhibit. I simply explored the rest of the museum gazing at items that I had seen long ago. Entrance to the Museum is free but you pay for the special exhibits.

Most of the rooms were deserted except for attendants and it was quiet and peaceful. I was intrigued by this.

One section was devoted to Japanese exhibits.

Samurai costume.

I cam across the Great Hall with its stained glass ceiling. Years ago, my sister Anne and I heard Leonid Kogan play the violin here in this hall. If you are interested here is a link to him playing Paganini.

There is a hall way that runs the length of the great hall and there are usually interesting exhibits in alcoves along the way.

View of the floor of the great hall.

The ceiling viewed from below.

While waiting for Marianne and Robin to finish viewing the woodcuts, I relaxed out the back in this garden area. They said that they enjoyed the exhibit, but it was very crowded and you just shuffled from woodcut to the next. It was all quite orderly with no jostling or shoving. There were two prints of the famous 'Wave' and apparently they are quite small (10.1" x 14.9").

We went to a Ramen restaurant that is very close to our apartment. I had the black roasted garlic ramen with mussels which was delicious but very garlicy. The menu says it should only be attempted by those with an iron tongue.

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