The commencement of the National Gallery of Victoria and its functions and organisation prior to 1966 are subject to research.
From 1869 to 1944 the Gallery was managed and controlled by VA 912 Trustees of the Public Library Museums and National Gallery of Victoria (s 2, Library Museums and National Gallery Act (33 Vict No. 5063 (1869)).
In 1944 the Public Library National Gallery and Museums Act 1944 dissolved that body of Trustees and replaced them with a separate body of Trustees for each agency and a body of Building Trustees to manage the buildings which the three agencies occupied (ss 4, 13 and 16, Public Library National Gallery and Museums Act (9 Geo VI No. 5053 (1944)). The Gallery Trustees (VA 3119 Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria) were responsible for "the management and control of the gallery and the general direction and control of the establishment and administration of schools of art conducted at or associated with the gallery."
In 1960 some changes were made to the Public Library and the Museum by the State Library National Gallery National Museum and Institute of Applied Science Act 1960 (No. 6688). That Act appears to have made little change to the Gallery or its Trustees apart from consolidating the legislation governing them.
In 1966 the National Gallery of Victoria Act 1966 (No. 7482) constituted VA 929 Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria (s 5) and set out the Council's functions (s 13). The administrative relationship between the Council and the Gallery is subject to research: Annual Reports indicate that the Council of Trustees rather than the Gallery employed some staff, including some curatorial, library, administrative, teaching and bookshop staff. The remaining staff appear to have been employed by the Gallery.
The Council of Trustees' functions were
(a) to manage and control the National Gallery;
(b) to maintain and develop the State collection of works of art;
(c) to make material within the State collection available to persons, departments and institutions in such manner and subject to such conditions as the Council determines whether due to the most advantageous use of the State collection;
(d) to carry out and make available such other services, including the printing publication and sale of books information and reproductions, in relation to pictures, works of art and art exhibits as the Council thinks fit;
(e) to assist in the promotion organization and supervision of art galleries and any body or association established for the promotion of art within Victoria;
(f) to advise the Minister and the organizations mentioned in paragraph (e) on matters of general policy relating to art galleries;
(g) to make recommendations to the Minister on the allocation of any moneys made available by Parliament to assist art galleries;
(h) to carry out such other functions in connexion with art galleries as the Minister from time to time directs;
(i) to manage and control the National Gallery Art School.
Subject to research, the National Gallery of Victoria is responsible for the acquisition, display and preservation of the State art collection, administration of the Heide Art Gallery and for the provision of art education.
Location of Records
Consult the Inventory of Series below and the List of Holdings section 3.3.7 for records attributed to the National Gallery. Subject to research, relevant records might also be attributed to the the various bodies of Trustees mentioned above, VA 431 National Museum of Victoria and VA 913 Public Library of Victoria.