City Gallery’s working collection moves to Town Hall

Kaylah Joelle Baker

City Gallery Collection has moved from 602 Little Bourke St, where the City of Melbourne’s Make Room project will now reside, and has returned to its cultural home at Town Hall.

The moving of the art and heritage store collection back into its cultural home is something the Lord Mayor Sally Capp said she was “absolutely delighted” about, and from May 16 it will be open to the public for the first time.

“I’m so appreciative to our [arts and heritage] team for really looking across the assets that we have at the City of Melbourne to see how we can really continue to obtain highest and best use for the various activities that we have under way,” Cr Capp said.

“The chance to welcome more members of the public into this fantastic building [Melbourne Town Hall], for them to be able to interact with this incredible and extensive collection was one of the absolute bonuses that came from our Make Room project.”

Due to the move, level four of Town Hall has now gone from a “relatively under-utilised space” to a floor for inquisitive and curious minds.

Showcased in the City Gallery Collection are more than 13,000 items of artworks, relics, and artefacts collected from, and representative of, 188 years of Melbourne’s history.

Speaking on various pieces, Cr Capp added, “who we are today and who we want to be in the future is very much at the heart of this working collection.”

Notable exhibits include a brick from 1837 which was one of the first used to build a house on the corner of Queen and Bourke streets; placards people had dumped following demonstrations; works from leading Indigenous artists, and Australia’s biggest photo album of potholes.

“You can also see maquettes of sculptures that represent the outdoor art collection we have around the city – more than 170 pieces are located around the city and so you can identify some of your favourites here and go out into your neighbourhood to find them,” Cr Capp said.

“I believe this collection has something for everybody. It is going to give such a unique perspective and for those that are the more curious, I encourage you to come and deeply look around … you’ll be amazed at what you can find.”

To get a snippet into Melbourne’s past, present and future, enjoy a public tour from Tuesday, May 16. •


Photo credits: Tobias Titz.

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