The collection – it’s a
thing composed of 8000 things.
Occupying a museological halfway point between the idiosyncrasy and eclecticism common to a private collection and the ambition of the state museum, the Art and Heritage Collection is big enough to reflect the city and its narratives and small enough to stay connected to the street and its stories. Some of its items were created for posterity, such as the memorials and the mayoral portraits. Others, such as a series of photographs of potholes, a bottle of Moomba spumante and an Aboriginal scar tree, were not.
It is characterised by dualities: outdoor/indoor, contemporary/historical, prosaic/artistic. It can be laudably democratic and comically stuffy.
It also happens to be the best capital city collection in Australia.