Art Gallery of NSW
The Art Gallery of NSW contains a permanent collection of Australian, European, Asian and contemporary art which effectively describes the development of style, political, social and cultural values. Over 30 exhibitions are curated each year, including the Archibald Prize exhibition, Australia’s premier portraiture competition. The Art Gallery of NSW also has a thought-provoking program of lectures, concerts and education activities. Only 15 minutes’ walk from the CBD, the Art Gallery of NSW is located in beautiful parklands and is convenient to some of the best Sydney hotels. Admission is free, with a charge for visiting exhibitions.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art is located in Sydney’s historic Rocks district in a striking art deco building. Dedicated to exhibiting and collecting contemporary art from around the world, the MCA offers an exciting program of exhibitions. The MCA is worth a visit just for its location and permanent collection, however there’s always something new and inspiring on exhibition. Entry is free, with a charge for some exhibitions. For local luxury hotels in Sydney CBD, there are several excellent options in the Rocks and surrounds.
Brett Whiteley Studio
This studio was the home and workplace of Brett Whiteley, one of Australia’s most revered artists. The Studio retains the atmosphere of the artist’s home with unfinished paintings, a wall covered with quotes and images, and personal mementoes from his life. The studio regularly rotates the exhibit, borrowing works from the Whiteley Estate, Art Gallery of NSW and private collections. The Brett Whiteley studio is in Surry Hills, one of Sydney’s oldest and most cosmopolitan districts packed with cafes, fashion and top Sydney hotels.
SH Ervin Gallery
This lesser known gallery is in fact one of Sydney’s leading public art institutions. Located on historic Observatory Hill, this gallery is in one the city’s favourite localities, close to hotels in Sydney’s CBD, the Harbour Bridge and foreshore and thriving Rocks area. The SH Ervin Gallery focuses on the work of Australian artists and apart from a regular exhibition program, is renowned for encouraging Australian Art history research and education. The gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday and has a small admission fee.
Australian Centre for Photography
A must-see for photography enthusiasts, this contemporary art space is dedicated to the creative learning of photography practice. The ACP curates exhibitions of Australian and international artists and offers a stimulating program of events designed to complement appreciation of the works. Artist talks, panel discussions and master classes are some of the exciting offerings in the gallery’s visual program. Located in Paddington, the ACP is close to boutique shopping, diverse dining and plenty of Sydney accommodation.