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.
Frances Burke textiles
Frances Burke (1904–1994) was a textile designer, manufacturer, retailer and businesswoman. The Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection holds many of Burke’s fabrics including this ‘Seapiece’ and 'Anchor' design. These designs were produced for the new Hayman Island resort off the Queensland coast, developed by aviation pioneer, Reginald Ansett, in the late 1940s. With the help of architect Guildford Bell, Ansett turned Hayman Island 'into Australia's most fashionable beach resort’ and Burke’s designs provided a spark of freshness and colour. Read more.
Anthony Hordern & Sons
Arguably Australia's largest retailer from the late 19th through to the mid-20th century. A major fire gutted many of the buildings in 1901. When the new five-storey Albert Bond-designed building was opened in 1905 it stretched across more than half a city block and three street frontages: George, Pitt and Goulburn Streets. Many of the materials used in the building including iron castings, polished marble, timber joinery and embossed steel ceilings were produced and/or finished at Hordern's own factories. The building was demolished in 1987 and is now part of the World Square complex. Read more.
Take a moment to relax and recharge with one of our online puzzles featuring our beautiful collections and museums.
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.