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Mon, 8 October 2007

Guggenheim leaves Melbourne

Filed under: contemporary art, Exhibitions — site admin @ 7:15 am

The National Gallery of Victoria today closed its doors on the most successful and highly attended exhibition of late modern and contemporary and art ever held in the Gallery’s history. Over 180,000 people attended the blockbuster exhibition Guggenheim Collection: 1940s to Now, placing it in the top seven most attended exhibitions at the NGV.

Tens of thousands of younger people poured into the Gallery from across Australia for the fourth instalment in the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces (MWM) series which drew from the Guggenheim Collections of New York, Venice, Bilbao and Berlin and included more than 85 works by 68 artists representing 22 nationalities. The exhibition joins the outstanding success of the three previous MWM exhibitions – The Impressionists in 2004, Dutch Masters in 2005 and Picasso: Love & War in 2006.

Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV, said: “To exceed our expected attendance target proves that Australians were ready for a blockbuster exhibition showcasing the art of our time.

“We are also delighted that Guggenheim Collection: 1940s to Now has attracted a younger crowd of visitors to the NGV. We look forward to building and nurturing this new audience who have explored what the Gallery has to offer this winter.”

Almost 20,000 people enjoyed the extensive art after dark program of DJs and live music performances on Wednesday nights, and the education programs have been a great success.

“We have been particularly impressed by the number of students and teachers who have seen this exhibition – nearly 9,000 have attended in organised school groups.”

Other figures include:

- Over 7800 catalogues were sold
- Over 17,000 ipod audio visual tours were purchased
- Over 15,000 people joined the daily and pre-booked orientation talks presented by the NGV’s Voluntary Guides
- Over 50,000 people joined in the education, public programs and guided tours

“With two blockbuster exhibitions in Melbourne as part of this year’s Winter Masterpieces series, the City has really been spoiled for choice,” Dr Vaughan said. Pixar: 20 Years of Animation ran concurrently at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) this winter.

“We wanted to bring exciting contemporary and postwar works to Melbourne, many of which have never been seen in Australia before. It’s wonderful that the public has responded so positively.”

Next year’s MWM exhibition comes to the NGV from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Art Deco 1910-1939 will bring over 250 major works across all fields of Art Deco including painting, jewellery, fashion, film, architecture, photography and furniture exclusively to Melbourne.

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