Below you’ll find a changing selection of highlights from our collection and past exhibitions, plus fascinating stories and hands-on activities for your next crafternoon session.
We hope you will check in regularly to gain inspiration and discover something new.
In 1968 a young New Zealand couple, Bruce and Jan Rosemergy, on a grand tour of Europe arrived at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. Gallipoli in the 1960s was very different from the place it is today. Access to the area was restricted, and signs of the fighting and its aftermath, such as trenches and relics, were still evident. ‘The events of 1915 became even more touching, tangible and personal for us when we found and retrieved a metal strip lying in the sand’, Bruce and Jan recall. The strip was inscribed 32. TPR. MURRAY. V.W. 6TH. They souvenired the small war relic and tucked it safely away. Read more here
Two-up is a game of chance which involves people standing around a circular ring and betting on which side two coins thrown high into the air from a ‘kip’ will land. It is inextricably linked in the Australian psyche with ‘diggers’, a term for Australian soldiers, and in most places can only be played legally on ANZAC day. In the past, players in Sydney were known to meet on wharves where they could escape by diving into the water. Offenders were generally fined a small amount of money by the courts. Find out more.
Watch & listen
Underworld: mugshots from the roaring twenties
Criminals thrived during the turbulent 1920s when rapid societal change led to the opening up of new illicit markets for entrepreneurial felons. Sydney’s police photographers captured the zeitgeist of the era in these unexpectedly candid mug shots of cocaine sellers and addicts, sly-grog purveyors and small-time criminals. Bosses, bruisers, plotters and petty crims are captured by the camera as they stare down the lens and into history. Discover more.
Marion Hall Best: Interiors
This exhibition colourfully charted the work of Marion Hall Best (1905-1988), one of Australia’s first and most influential independent interior designers, displaying original furniture, fabrics, furnishings and design schemes. Best’s career spanned four decades from the mid–1930s, a period of transition from the department store decorators and art furnishers of the 1920s, to the independent professional designers of today. Discover more.
A Thousand Words
‘A picture tells a thousand words.’ This adage is the inspiration for an innovative exhibition, in which the public becomes the curator. A Thousand Words presents 100 of the most compelling photographic images from the rich collections of Sydney Living Museums and the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW, created between the 1880s and the 1980s. Discover more.