What you may not know is that housed inside the National Gallery of Victoria is a fabulous book store. If you or a special someone you’re trying to find that elusive gift for has a passion for art, fashion, architecture, design, style and history, then you’ll love this shop that sells books in these genres, from all around the world. Without the need to be elsewhere, it’s easy to get lost in there, browsing for hours.
My most recent visit was pre-Christmas when I decided to pay the Gallery a visit to search for a gift for my little 7 year old niece – who much to her aunties delight, has shown an interest in art at school. So for Christmas this year my gifts to her were based around an art theme – books, paints, glitter, canvas, pastels, pencils and brushes. Everything a budding little artist needs to get excited about being creative. The NGV book shop has a great collection of art books for kids – books to learn about the history of art and the artists and books to encourage young ones to explore their own artistic talents.
If you’re a visitor to Melbourne (or a local who rarely takes a moment to enjoy the many sites we have on our doorstep) take the trip from the city to the Gallery on foot. Wander over the Yarra River via the Princes Bridge, past the MCG to your left and Southgate and the Arts Centre on your right – just a few steps past that and you’ll have landed at the Gallery. It’s such a gorgeous part of Melbourne, like all those touristy things I promise myself to do and see in my own town, I wonder when I return, why I don’t visit it more often.
The Water Wall at the entrance to the NGV, where many a child (including me) has run their hands along, wondering the whole time, but not really caring, whether they should be doing it
The entrance to the shop at the NGV
This is the scene when you walk out of the gallery onto St Kilda Road. Lovely isn’t it?
That’s the Queen Victoria Gardens you can see in the background, featuring a famous Melbourne monument, the Floral Clock. You can see it better and learn more about it here
If you’re feeling a litte weary and struggling with the Melbourne heat, flag down a horse and cart, to make your way back to the CBD
Or take a tram
What I also discovered in my search for art supplies for kids, is a hidden treasure trove of everything you could possibly need to draw, paint, sketch and mould, in a tucked away shop in Footscray. Although they don’t have a website you can find their details here. What I liked about this place, aside from the wall to wall endless options to feed your creativity, was that the man serving behind the counter really knew his stuff. When I mentioned to him I didn’t know his shop existed, despite often being in the area, he was surprised saying he had been there for 36 years. It was lovely to come across a shopkeeper that was so passionate and knowledgable about his wares.
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