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National Gallery of Victoria develops new digital collection guide that includes more than 24,000 works
The guide features personal insights provided by NGV curators, conservators and a range of creative Australians.

MELBOURNE.- A ground-breaking new digital resource, NGV guide, was announced today, offering new ways for people to experience and connect with the NGV Collection.

This is the first major initiative of the partnership between the NGV and Telstra, which has enabled the NGV to enhance visitors’ art experiences through technology. In the Gallery, at home or outside, users can browse the collection by artist, art movement or colour. For the first time visitors can save favourite works and, using a new algorithm developed for NGV guide, receive recommendations to view works based on their personal preferences.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘This innovative guide challenges the way we can experience a gallery and offers new ways to access art and ideas. This new platform will connect people to the stories, emotions and ideas within art in an interactive way. The guide aims to enhance a visit to the NGV, enabling visitors to continue their research at home and discover more about a particular artist, artwork or style.’

The guide features personal insights provided by NGV curators, conservators and a range of creative Australians, through extended texts and audio tours by musicians, comedians, writers and art historians. There are also behind-the-scenes accounts into artwork conservation, new music created in response to the collection and additional content including essays which reveal the hidden stories behind some of the collection’s most prominent holdings.

A range of creative and personal responses incorporated into NGV guide lend new perspectives to featured artworks. Series one includes:

• Comedian and writer Tegan Higginbotham discussing her experiences of the work of nineteenth century European painters Friedrich Albrecht Schenck and William Quiller Orchardson

• NGV Assistant Director Isobel Crombie sharing why she loves three of the NGV’s most iconic works, Giambattista Tiepolo’s The Banquet of Cleopatra, Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Red) and John Brack’s Collins St, 5p.m.

• Visual artist Peter Ellis provides an audio tour of the work of Max Ernst and Gustave Doré

• Roman Catholic priest, community worker and media personality Father Bob Maguire gives insight into his favourite works by Flanders, Pablo Picasso and John William Waterhouse

• Melbourne singer Laura Jean taking visitors on a journey through the 20th Century Australian art galleries

• Melbourne ceramicist Jessilla Rogers talking about the work of Brett Whitely and John Olsen

• Sculptor Louise Weaver discussing the work of Pierre Soulages and William Larkin

• Users can also play an original soundscape recorded by Regurgitator frontman Quan Yeomans in response to the NGV’s nineteenth and twentieth century art collections.

Fady Taouk, General Manager, Loyalty and Partnerships, Telstra, said: ‘Telstra is very excited to have partnered with the National Gallery of Victoria on NGV guide, connecting people with some of the most recognised artworks in the world using the latest technology. Telstra has a long history of supporting the arts in Australia, bringing people closer to the things they are passionate about and our partnership with the NGV is a fundamental part of that.’

In an independent digitisation project the NGV has digitised more than 24,000 works with images and all are searchable on NGV guide, with additional content added regularly.

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