Bendigo is located about 2 hours drive (150kms) north west of Melbourne and with a population of around 100,000 it is 18th largest city of Australia. During the 1850s the discovery of gold brought an influx of migrants from around the world making it one of the most significant Victorian-era boomtowns in Australia.
Over 150 years later the Bendigo Art Gallery is still discovering gold nuggets and continues to welcome people from around the world to view some amazing exhibitions
The Bendigo Art Gallery is one of Australia's oldest and largest regional art galleries and was founded in 1887 - Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Year. In the late 1880s, distinguished Bendigo architect WC Valhand supervised the conversion of the former Bendigo Volunteer Rifle’s orderly room in View Street into a new home for the Gallery’s collection. (Credit: Wikipedia)
In recent years this regional gallery has curated some highly prized exhibitions including Grace Kelly: Style Icon, opened by Princess Charlene of Monaco on behalf of her husband, Albert, Princess Grace’s son. (The collection had previously only visited Monaco, Rome, New York and London).
In collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox the Gallery also brought us Marilyn Monroe.
Anyone visiting Bendigo for this exhibition will remember the ‘Forever Marilyn’, the eight-metre-high sculpture by American artist Seward Johnson. The sculpture, based on the photo by Bernard of Hollywood, depicts the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch where a gust of wind catches the star's white dress while standing over a subway grate.
The 15-tonne sculpture, made from stainless steel and aluminium and was on display in Bendigo to complement the exhibition Bendigo Art Gallery and Twentieth Century Fox present Marilyn Monroe. (Credit: Wikipedia)
The local retailers, restaurants and townsfolk embrace the theme of the exhibitions which boosts their success, with over 135,000 visitors for Grace Kelly and even more for Marilyn injecting over 30 Million dollars into the economy, an excellent result for a regional city.
Currently the Bendigo gallery has another gold nugget, exhibiting Tudors to Windsors – British Royal Portraits Exhibition until 14th July 2019. More on that soon!
POSTSCRIPT FROM ANNE
As some of you know Bendigo is my home town and although I no longer live there I am immensely proud of this Golden City of Central Victoria. Thank you Caroline for writing this wonderful blog on some of the amazing exhibitions from the Bendigo Art Gallery. I'm looking forward to reading about the Tudors to Windsors.