Level 2a, Main entry, Swanston St
The Cowen Gallery houses a permanent exhibition of oil paintings and portrait sculptures drawn from the Library's Pictures Collection.
The permanent exhibition has 150 works on display: 137 oil paintings and 13 marble busts.
Works include paintings by Frederick McCubbin, Henry Burn, Eugene von Guerard, Thomas Clark, Jessie Traill, Nicholas Chevalier, Louis Buvelot, Lina Bryans, Caroline Williams, Sybil Craig, Danila Vassilieff and Jan Senbergs, as well as sculptures by Charles Summers, Percival Ball and John Francis.
Red & blue rotundas
The Cowen Gallery includes two adjacent rooms: the Red Rotunda and the Blue Rotunda.
The Red Rotunda contains 19th-century paintings and sculptures of some of Victoria's early settlers and other individuals who made important contributions to the history of this state, including Sir Redmond Barry and William Buckley.
The Blue Rotunda houses 20th-century works such as portraits of authors, artists and people who have contributed to the rich collections of the Library.
Throughout the year, the gallery also hosts occasional temporary exhibitions.
The Cowen Gallery is open Monday to Thursday 10am–9pm, and Friday to Sunday 10am–6pm.