Bendigo Art Gallery

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Bendigo Art Gallery

As one of the oldest and largest regional galleries in Australia, the Bendigo Art Gallery is a national icon that has contributed significantly to the country’s evolving cultural landscape and played a major role in reconceptualising art as not only accessible but enjoyable for all. Founded in 1887, the Gallery has fast-earned itself a reputation as a leader in the field of fashion exhibitions, with its innovative international shows, public programs and events luring visitors from all over the world.
Also featuring gilt-framed Australian art from the 1850s to the present day, 19th century European paintings, sculptures, indigenous works and decorative arts – this attraction is without a doubt the jewel in the city of Bendigo’s crown.



Credits: (c) Canva



A brief history

The Bendigo Art Gallery was first built at McCrae Street as the Sandhurst Fine Art Gallery. In 1890, it was decided that the art collection required a building with a more commanding presence, and so a revamped Gallery was opened on View Street.
Over the next decade, the building saw further expansion, with its original polychrome red and white Victorian brick facade and heritage galleries largely intact until 1962. The Gallery has since seen a number of multimillion dollar redevelopments, bringing it to the landmark status that it holds today.
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Credits: (c) Leon Schoots




Over the years, the Bendigo Art Gallery has played host to a multitude of high-calibre exhibitions and shows, attracting visitors in their droves yearning for a cultural experience that casts a spotlight on the fashion and contemporary wonders of the world. Over the last decade, the Gallery has hosted major exhibitions the likes of Elvis: Direct from Graceland, Mary Quant: Fashion Revolution, Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion and Marimekko: Design Icon 1951 to 2018, as well as a series of other exhibitions including Frida Kahlo: Her Portraits, Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, Modern Love: Fashion visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA, and Grace Kelly: Style Icon amongst others.

For the next few months, art-lovers can expect to take delight in the Paul Guest Prize biennial – a $15,000 non-acquisitive prize and exhibition highlighting contemporary drawing practice in Australia, as well as In Our Time – a group exhibition showcasing four decades of art from China and beyond, as well as Treasures of Dai Gum San – showcasing exquisite artistry across the renowned collection of Bendigo’s Golden Dragon Museum.

Opening Hours and Tickets

The Bendigo Art Gallery is open seven days a week, 10am to 5pm, every day of the year (including public holidays) with the exception of Christmas Day.

Entry is free, with tickets to be purchased only for special travelling exhibitions.

What’s On

Australiana: Designing A Nation

The latest exhibition organised by Bendigo Art Gallery in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria will have the country’s art lovers in a state of rapture. Taking place from March 18 to June 23, Australiana: Designing a Nation is curated by and presented exclusively at Bendigo Art Gallery and surveys the iconography of Australiana in art and design – celebrating and interrogating who we are as a country and a people.

The free exhibition showcases over 200 artists and designers including a number of iconic contemporary Australian artists including Ken Done, Paul McCann, Tony Albert and Romance was Born. The Australian masterpieces span across various eras and mediums such as photography, jewellery, moving image, fashion, decorative and visual arts, with each piece presenting a unique capture of the nation’s social and popular cultural history. With works encompassing the rich expressions of connection to Country of First Nations artists and designers, to explorations of national and personal identity by others, Australiana is a profound artistic reflection of key chapters in our history through to the present day, and an address at how our notions and perceptions of identity and style have changed and evolved through time.

For more information, visit the Bendigo Art Gallery website here.

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Credits: (c) Leon Schoots



Permanent Collections

The Gallery’s modern and contemporary collection is a varied showcase that includes First Nations pieces, painting, sculpture, ceramics, decorative arts, photography and works on paper. This collection includes work by artists such as Patricia Piccinini, Bill Henson, Dale Frank, Jan Nelson, Fiona Hall, Ben Quilty, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Kit Webster, and Ben Armstrong.

The Bendigo Art Gallery also houses a collection of 19th century Australian art depicting the wealth-imbued period of the country and with a focus on hard-work and new beginnings. Many of the oil paintings and sketches of this collection reflect the early landscape as it was transformed by miners, with iconic pieces such as Walter Wither’s The Drover, Thomas Wright’s Sandhurst in 1862, George Rowe’s Kangaroo Flat, and ST Gill’s Eaglehawk Gully – each adorning the walls and reflecting Bendigo’s initial gold rush period and beyond.

The Gallery also prides itself on its strong collection of 19th century international art including English and European landscapes, allegories and portraits reflecting European salon trends of the time. Featured British works include Homeless by Thomas Kennington, Too Late by Herbert Schmalz, and the stunning photo-realism of The Arab Blacksmith by Thomas Sheard. A substantial selection of French pieces also take pride of place on the Gallery walls.

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Credits: (c) Leon Schoots



Where to stay in Bendigo?

In order to honour the city’s commitment to art and culture, the Bendigo Ernest Hotel merges voguish interior design with an intentional showcase of exquisite art, thereby fashioning a unique experience where guests are truly surrounded by the wonders of creativity.
A stay at the Bendigo Ernest Hotel will perfectly round off your Bendigo arts-based itinerary, not only because of the hotel’s close proximity to the Art Gallery, but because of its commitment to celebrating arts and culture.
Create yourself an entire cultural experience with a ticket to one of the current exhibitions, or simply take a wander through the permanent collections before finding your place amidst the creative surrounds of the Bendigo Ernest Hotel itself where you can while the rest of the day away in a calm and restorative space.

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Credits: (c) Leon Schoots 



How to get to Bendigo Art Gallery?

The Bendigo Art Gallery is located only a stone’s throw away (100 metres, to be exact) from the Bendigo Ernest Hotel, ensuring your cultural escape is as convenient as it is relaxing, slow and enriching. Take your time as you wake amidst the comfort of your luxury suite before making your way to the iconic arts destination that awaits a few steps yonder.

Travelling from Melbourne

The Bendigo Art Gallery is located approximately 150 km north-west of Melbourne. The journey is a 90-minute drive up the Calder Freeway by car, or via V/Line train.

Travelling from Ballarat

The Gallery is located 120 km north of Ballarat along the Midland Highway. Public transport is via the V/Line coach service and takes just over two hours.
Both the V/Line train and coach services end at the Bendigo Railway Station which is a 15-minute walk to the Bendigo Art Gallery. Buses also run from the Station to the Gallery (look for bus number 50, 52, 53, 54 or 55).
For Bendigo train timetables, fares, maps and travel information visit the V/Line website or phone V/Line on 1800 800 007. For Bendigo bus timetables, visit Public Transport Victoria regional buses.

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Bendigo Ernest Hotel is an immersive experience that combines historic grandeur with modern features. Boasting 10 individualised suites, each room is adorned with alluring Australian art and swept with contemporary aesthetics, luxurious bedding, and designer furnishings – combining to forge a memorable and bespoke stay and perfectly complementing one’s visit to the Bendigo Art Gallery. Hotel check-in is after 2pm. To ensure a smooth and personalised experience, Bendigo Ernest Hotel provides each guest with a unique check-in service complete with a building tour, porter service and a guide of their suite. Complimentary off-street parking is also available at the rear of the building. To view booking terms and conditions click here.

Suite 1: Robin Wallace-Crabbe

Suite 2: The Writer’s Room

Suite 3: The Arts Project

Suite 4: Heather B Swann

Suite 5: James Meldrum

Suite 6: Grand Parkview

Suite 7: Michael Georgetti

Suite 8: Pilven Triptych

Suite 9: Richard Birmingham

Suite 10: Patrick Henigan

Bendigo Art Gallery

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