• arts & culture

2 November 2017

The sun may have set on the National Gallery of Victoria’s (NGV) record breaking Van Gogh and the Seasons exhibition but its impact is still being felt with an evaluation revealing the exhibition generated almost $56 million for the Victorian economy.

Vincent van Gogh A wheatfield, with cypresses early September 1889 Saint-Rémy oil on canvas 72.1 x 90.9 cm F 615, JH 1755  National Gallery, London Bought, Courtauld Fund, 1923 (NG3861) © The National Gallery, London Photo: The National Gallery, London

DETAIL: Vincent van Gogh, A wheatfield, with cypresses (early September 1889 Saint-Rémy oil on canvas 72.1 x 90.9 cm F 615, JH 1755  National Gallery, London Bought, Courtauld Fund, 1923 (NG3861) © The National Gallery, London Photo: The National Gallery, London)

The world premiere exhibition, which was part of the Victorian Government’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, proved a boon for Victoria, demonstrating once again how creativity brings significant benefits to the state.

The exhibition, which closed in July, attracted 462,262 visitors across its 76 day season, making it the most popular ticketed exhibition in the gallery’s history. Of this figure, an impressive 103,342 visitors were from interstate and 17,456 visitors came from overseas.

The evaluation also revealed that 9.4 percent of all attendees - some 40,000 people - came to Melbourne specifically to see the exhibition, while 5,000 international and interstate visitors extended their stay in order to see Van Gogh’s works.

Economic impact evaluations calculate the accommodation, travel, hospitality and retail expenditure of exhibition visitors. Overall the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series has now generated more than $495 million for the state since it was established by the Victorian Government in 2004.

This year, in addition to Van Gogh and the Seasons at the NGV, the series brought the Australian exclusive Wallace & Gromit and Friends: The Magic of Aardman exhibition to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. The exhibition was recently extended at ACMI and will run until 29 January 2018.

The NGV has already announced its 2018 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, Masterworks from MoMA, which will open on 9 June 2018.

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