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Museum of Contemporary Art

brief history ...

Before 1788, the land on which the Museum of Contemporary Art is built, was owned by the Aboriginal Gadigal people. In 1788, the area we call today, The Rocks was the landing place of the First Fleet.

The Museum of Contemporary Art - Sydney
©2006 Gabriel Ditu
In 1802 Sydney's first hospital was erected on the left side of the Circular Quay. In 1812, Colonel Foveaux adds commissariat stores and latter on a taxation building. In 1930 the commissariat stores and taxation office are demolished to make room to Maritime Services Board building.

Built after, W. H. Withers' plans, the Maritime Services Board building was finished in 1952. Maritime Services Board occupied the building until 1989, when moves to another location. The vacated building is renovated in 1990 and is donated to Sydney University.

In November 1991 the Museum of Contemporary Art officially opened to the public. The Museum of Contemporary Art is dedicated to the artist John Power (1881-1943), who left all his wealth to Sydney University to promote the contemporary visual arts.

For more information see the page dedicated to The Rocks.

about...

Like many museums in Australia, The Museum of Contemporary Art has permanent collections but also features temporary exhibitions, with art works from Australia or from overseas. The permanent collections are the following:

  • J W Power Collection
  • The Loti And Victor Smorgon Collection Of Contemporary Australian Art
  • The Maningrida Collection Of Aboriginal Art
  • The Ramingining Collection Of Aboriginal Art
  • The Arnott's Biscuits Collection Of Aboriginal Bark Paintings
  • Contemporary Art Archive

tourist information ...

How to get there
The best way to go to The Museum of Contemporary Art is by public transport (train, ferry or bus), Circular Quay Station. The Museum of Contemporary Art is located on the Sydney Harbour foreshore at West Circular Quay. See map.

Contact details:
140 George Street
The Rocks, Sydney
Ph: (+612) 9245 2400

Web site: The Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hours of Operation:
10AM - 5PM Daily (closed Christmas Day)
Admission is FREE thanks to MCA's leading sponsor: Telstra.

For latest information please check The Museum of Contemporary Art web site.
18 November
1941 - Chris Watson died, third Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1867)

1941 - Operation Crusader, the third, and ultimately successful attempt to relieve the Siege of Tobruk, begins.
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