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Museum of Sydney

Museums Sydney

Time Out says

Find out more about early colonisation as well as modern Australian history at this compact museum

This building stands on one of the most historic spots in Sydney, the site of the first Government House, built in 1788 by Governor Arthur Phillip and home to the first nine governors of NSW. In 1983 archaeologists unearthed the original footings of the house, which had survived since the building’s 1846 demolition; these remains are now a feature at the museum.

Administered by Sydney Living Museums and opened in 1995, the MOS offers a mix of state-of-the-art installations, nostalgic memorabilia and changing exhibitions. A giant video spine spans the full height of the building and charts the physical development of the city.

This area was the first point of contact for the indigenous Gadigal people and the First Fleet, so the museum also explores colonisation, invasion and contact. The Gadigal Place gallery honours the clan’s history and culture, while outside the museum the 'Edge of the Trees' sculpture installation by Fiona Foley and Janet Laurence symbolises the first encounter, in which the Gadigal people hid behind trees and watched officers of the First Fleet struggle ashore.

Pause in the foyer in front of late indigenous artist Gordon Bennett's 1991 painting 'Possession Island', which re-interprets the traditional European story of contact and colonisation, and parodies British paintings depicting Cook's claiming of Australia.



Address: Corner Phillip and Bridge Streets
Transport: Nearby stations: Circular Quay
Price: $12-$15
Opening hours: Thu-Sun 10am-5pm; closed Good Friday, Christmas Day

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  • Exhibitions Until Sunday November 21 2021
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