National Gallery of Victoria 3rd Floor

Visiting 3rd Floor NGV Fed Square

An opinion Piece about exhibitions, the visual arts, and things. 

Our major public galleries now promote their special exhibition/ blockbusters to such an extent that people often overlook what else is on offer. Normally there are fantastic collection and other special exhibitions on offer.

The Pharaoh museum blockbuster is opening (14 June – 6 Oct) at the St Kilda Road gallery and the barrage of advertising has been telling people that this is not to be missed. The event audience has been trained well and they will be there.

For some of us, this is the chance to see the rest of the galleries as it usually means they are even quieter than normal.

Right now, in June 2024, the NGV has a wonderful selection of exhibitions on its top floor, the 3rd floor  at Federation Square. There are four very different exhibition experiences.

Well worth travelling straight up to the third floor next time you visit the NGV (at Federation Square).


My Country exhibits the works of eight emerging artists – who were each paired with a more established artist. These Australian First Nation artworks have been commissioned.

There is a mix of media – and mixed results.   Worth a look.








The galleries next door house a three room exhibition of six sculptural and installation works of Melbourne artist Nina Sanadze. According to the online text, the artists has covered a few related themes within this set of installations. The works are on a grand scale and  are not easy to read, so it is necessary to read the wall texts to get your head around the artist’s intent. Again, worth the visit. But I left feeling  it was more about scale and being monumental. Will see what I think next time I visit.










The third set of galleries contain the permanent exhibition of the collected works (donated to the NGV in 2004) of the late Joseph Brown. To quote from the NGV online: “He reclaimed the work of forgotten artists, introduced and mentored many new artists, and was a great advocate for portraiture as an art form. Simultaneously he built up an outstanding private collection of Australian art.”

The Joseph Brown Collection is an exhibition you have to return to many times. Sometime recently the collection was moved from the central galleries to the rear galleries – and it looks even better. Joseph Brown had an eye for works. As good as it gets!

There’s a handy ebook online. But visiting and seeing the works is a must.






Tourists cannot help but take selfies. This group arrived, took their photographs and wandered off. There were glances at the art, but it was more about the social event.


The fourth exhibition is the fantastic special exhibition (free entry) of Grace Crowley and Ralph Balson.

I have written an opinion piece about this exhibition – click here. A stunning exhibition.

For the NGV page – click here.

While the NGV has a lot to offer, just visiting 3rd Floor NGV Fed Square is enough for one visit . Then it is time for a coffee to ponder.

I will be back several times over the 2024 winter.

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