Set within the former Marine Services Board Building on the edge of Circular Quay, Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art is one of Australia’s most impressive modern art galleries. It features more than 4,000 works by both Australian and international artists, spanning media that includes painting, sculpture, photography and moving image.
Depending on when you visit, the museum might be showcasing major thematic exhibitions or collections of particular artists, as well as new works by emerging artists and solo exhibitions. The art deco-style building is worthy of attention in its own right and stands as one of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks.
The Museum of Contemporary Art also features a significant number of contemporary pieces by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. These include works from Arnhem Land dating back to the 1950s and The Arnott’s collection of bark paintings.
Once you’ve finished touring the gallery, be sure to visit the MCA Store, which specializes in Australian and international contemporary art books and quirky gifts. There’s also an onsite cafe that dishes up modern Australian cuisine, coupled with spectacular views across Sydney Harbour.
The Museum of Contemporary Art’s collection includes an archive of artists’ publications, letters, notebooks and drawings to help capture the working processes and ideas of modern artists. There is also a MCA Collection Online initiative with resources that provide a deeper insight and analysis of works, as well as biographical details of the artists.
To make the most out of your visit, be sure to download the MCA Australia app, which has both audio and artwork guides, together with recordings of interviews with the artists themselves and the gallery curators.