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The NSW Art Gallery, six Reasons to Visit this Great Museum in Sydney

The NSW Art Gallery has an impressive collection of Australian and international art. It also hosts many exhibitions and fine events.

It is an attraction not be missed, whether you live in Sydney or you're there just for a short break.

The museum is right in the heart of City, in the Domain, near the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Mae sure to visit it.

It will really nourish your mind, soul and body.

Here are 6 reasons to visit the Art Gallery of NSW:

  1. Immerse yourself in culture
  2. Learn something new
  3. Sit back and enjoy great entertainment
  4. Get your kids creative
  5. Relax over a glass of wine or enjoy some good food
  6. Shop for art
nsw art gallery in the domain sydney

Reason #1 - Immerse Yourself in Culture at NSW Art Gallery

Here's what you can see:

At ground level - Australian Art, European and Asian art

The Australian art rooms are very rich with paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, photography. Sidney Nolan, Margaret Preston, John Olsen, John Perceval are just four names that come to mind of the huge collection of works.

European art is well represented and covers works from 15th to 19th centuries. Here are some examples:   

  • paintings - you'll see names such as van Gogh, Rubens, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro 
  • drawings - Paul Cezanne, Thomas Gainsborough, Ingres, Watteau
  • sculptures - Rodin, Degas and many others

Asian art at this level includes mainly sculptures, worship figures and ceramics.

At lower level 1 - more Asian art

There's art from China, Japan, India, Indonesia and other south and south east Asian regions.

The Chinese and Japanese galleries exhibit ceramic, paintings, calligraphy, hanging scrolls, tomb figures, weapons, tools, models of houses or pavilions that bring to life centuries long gone.

They show life of ordinary people and life at imperial palaces, every day practices and ritual ceremonies. The beautiful collection of samurai swords is just amazing.

At lower level 2 - contemporary

You will find here contemporary art: paintings, collage, mixed media, photography, multimedia and international art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

At lower level 3 - Indigenous art

The NSW Art Gallery has a rich collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders works. The artists use natural materials such as pigments on bark, feathers, fur, human hair, shells to create amazing figures or artwork.

There is also great photography, sculpture, ceremonial objects, paintings.

Reason #2 - Learn Something New

There are free daily tours of the collections or exhibitions. Go to the information desk and ask when the next tour is on and what it is about.

There are also various courses and lectures that explain art, history, trends, techniques. You can broaden your horizons or roll your sleeves up and acquire new skills by participating in workshops.

Reason #3 - Sit Back and Enjoy Great Entertainment

Listen to music and watch movies. The Art Gallery NSW organises concerts by students or accomplished artists. Some are free others need to be booked.

Watch classic movies or documentaries that are not easily available elsewhere. Become a connoisseur and get to see films made by famous world directors. The film theatre is on lower level 3 and the screenings are free.

nsw art gallery facade pop to popism exhibition

For example the Pop to Popism exhibition (January to March 2015) came with great after hours entairtainment four Wednesdays in January.

live band performing rockabilly at nsw art gallery

Live bands perform the 1950's rockabilly and swing, the 1960's beats, the 1970's rock'n'roll and the 1980's electronic music. And celebrities, be they glamorous stylists, columnists, authors or designers talk about their passions, life style, achievements or political views related to the theme of the exhibition and past eras that brought so much change to the way we live.

Below is a snapshot taken during a conversation between the stylish pin-up girl Sarah Doyle and author Claudia Chan Shaw about Sarah's love for everything 50's, on the first Wednesday in January 2015.

wednesday after hours at nsw art gallery pop to popism

Reason #4 - Get Your Kids Creative

There are a number of programs available, for various age groups, to keep your children engaged and provide them with information, stories, and performances.

Reason #5 - Relax and Enjoy Good Food

Relax over a glass of wine or enjoy some good food and great views of the Sydney Harbour. The restaurant at ground level and the cafe at lower level 1 have views of the Finger Wharf and Woolloomooloo Bay.

Reason #6 - Shop for Art

The NSW Art Gallery has a nice shop where you can buy art books, prints or posters, DVDs and art merchandise.

Where is the NSW Art Gallery?

This Sydney museum is in the Domain park. If you are not already in the City, the best way to get to the gallery is by cityrail. Get off at Wynyard or Martin Place, make your way to Macquarie Street, enter the Sydney Hospital precinct and walk through the beautiful Domain. Or get off at St James station, walk through Hyde Park and follow the Art Gallery Road that will take you to the museum.

Gorgeous view of City from the Domain

The museum is open every day from 10 to 5, except Good Friday and Christmas. On Wednesdays it stays open late, till 9 in the evening.

The entry is free but some cultural activities may come at a price. Visit the museum's website www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au to get information about current exhibitions and all the great events that are on.

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Other cultural attractions in Sydney...

Museum of Sydney

Powerhouse Museum

Australian Museum

The Biennale

Museums in the Rocks

More about The Rocks

Monument to Captain Cook

Building the Harbour Bridge

Darling Harbour...

...and a bit of its history

Art in Canberra

National Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

National Museum

Australian War Memorial



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