Welcome to Sydney Living Museums

Vaucluse House. Photo © Douglas Riley for Sydney Living Museums
Vaucluse House. Photo © Douglas Riley for Sydney Living Museums

Over the next 12 issues of New Land magazine, we are excited to present a series of the most important cultural and heritage buildings in New South Wales.

Sydney Living Museums (SLM) cares for 12 of the most important museums and historic houses in New South Wales, as well as their gardens and collections. We bring houses and museums to life through a dynamic and diverse program of exhibitions, research and events so that visitors can experience Sydney’s past as if they had lived it themselves. Sydney Living Museums’ city properties tell stories of archaeology, architecture and colonisation, from the picturesque Vaucluse House and estate, home of the politician, colonial explorer and barrister William Charles Wentworth and his wife, Sarah, to the stunning interiors and staggering harbour views of Elizabeth Bay House.

Elizabeth Farm. Photo © Douglas Riley for Sydney Living Museums
Elizabeth Farm. Photo © Douglas Riley for Sydney Living Museums

A visit to Susannah Place in Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood is like opening a family album. This charming set of four terrace houses located in the heart of The Rocks offers visitors an intimate glimpse of what life was like for working-class people in the 1800s and into the 20th century.

Experience what life was like for the convicts who built Hyde Park Barracks 200 years ago. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Hyde Park Barracks Museum traces the historic development of Sydney from its earliest days.

Hyde Park Barracks Museum. Photo © Douglas Riley for Sydney Living Museums
Hyde Park Barracks Museum.
Photo © Douglas Riley for Sydney Living Museums

Next door to Hyde Park Barracks Museum is The Mint where past and present coexist on Macquarie Street. The Mint is an award-winning redevelopment of Sydney CBD’s oldest public building and historic coining factory. A café and bistro adds to the charm of a visit to this site.

Experience the imaginative exhibitions at the Museum of Sydney, offering visitors an insight into the many stories of people, places and cultures that have made Sydney the vibrant city it is today. Book a leisurely lunch at The Governor’s Table, conveniently situated at the Museum of Sydney. Discover Sydney’s underworld at the Justice & Police Museum through tales of infamous criminals such as bushranger Captain Moonlite. Perfect for children and families.

If mid-20th-century modern domestic architecture is more to your taste, then don’t miss the iconic Rose Seidler House situated in Wahroonga on the leafy North Shore. Designed by renowned architect Harry Seidler, when it was completed in 1950, Rose Seidler House was the ‘most talked-about house in Sydney’ for its bold and optimistic vision for a new way of living. This property sparked a cultural revolution in property design and is well worth a visit.

Further afield, New Land readers can explore historic homesteads and farms to learn what country life was like in colonial times, from Elizabeth Farm, Sydney’s oldest surviving homestead, to the charming Meroogal property nestled in the Shoalhaven area, and Rouse Hill House & Farm, featuring the restored Rouse Hill schoolhouse from 1888.

Discover the fascinating people, stories and places of Sydney’s heritage at SLM properties. In each upcoming issue, we will focus on one of the houses and museums to bring you a flavour of Australian history and culture.

Museum of Sydney. Photo © Anna Kucera/James Horan for Sydney Living Museums
Museum of Sydney.
Photo © Anna Kucera/James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

You are invited to come and enjoy Sydney Living Museums’ glorious houses and museums for yourself.

Here is a taste of some upcoming exhibitions and programs.

Sand in the City: Make waves at the Museum of Sydney with this fully interactive exhibition exploring Sydney’s legendary beaches. Featuring giant models of the city’s iconic coastal landscape, an alluring sandbox with space to build your own sandcastle, and funky LEGO® creations, the exhibition is all about creativity, fun and imaginative play.

WHERE & WHEN: Museum of Sydney, 3 Dec 2016 –23 Jul 2017
TICKETS: General: $12, Concession: $8, Family: $30, SLM members: Free

The Moderns: European designers in Sydney: Highlighting the direct connections between Sydney and the European design centres of Vienna, Berlin and Budapest, this exhibition tells the story of émigré architects, designers and photographers working in Sydney in a distinctly European style from the 1930s to the 1960s.
WHERE & WHEN: Museum of Sydney, July 22 – November 26
TICKETS: General: $12, Concession: $8, Family: $30, SLM members: Free

Children & family programs:
Family open weekend: Pack a picnic and bring the family along to Rouse Hill House & Farm for a weekend of fun and nostalgia for all ages! Tour the historic house and stables, experience our 1880s schoolhouse, meet our farmer and feed the animals.
WHERE & WHEN: Rouse Hill House & Farm, Sat 29 & Sun 30 July, 10am–4pm
TICKETS: General: $5, SLM members: Free

Earn Your Tucker: Have fun and join in to get the chores done. Help feed the chickens, collect the eggs, sort the grain, carry the milk and make the butter. Then sit down to some well-earned food! Ages 5+
WHERE & WHEN: Vaucluse House, Tues 4 & 11 July, Thurs 6 & 13 July, 10.30am–12.30pm
TICKETS: General: $17, SLM members: $12. Tickets are required for both adults and children.

Tours
Nightlight tour: Experience the newly refurbished Vaucluse House drawing room in all its glory by candlelight with curator Joanna Nicholas. Tour the rest of the house and finish with refreshments in the colonial kitchen.
WHERE & WHEN: Vaucluse House, Fri 11 August, 6.30pm–8pm
TICKETS: General: $30, Concession: $25, SLM members: $20

Justice & Police Museum. Photo © Anna Kucera/James Horan for Sydney Living Museums
Justice & Police Museum.
Photo © Anna Kucera/James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Special Events
Curry, Spice (and all things nice!): Join us on an exotic journey into the world of spices, inspired by the food heritage of Elizabeth Farm. Taste a range of spiced dishes and blend your own curry powder to a recipe from the early 1800s.
WHERE & WHEN: Elizabeth Farm, Sun 18 June, 11.30am–1.30pm
TICKETS: General: $70, Concession: $65, SLM members: $60

Winter Solstice Viewing: Elizabeth Bay House will open its doors before dawn to witness the alignment of the house with the sunrise on the shortest day of the year. See this annual spectacle before enjoying a warming coffee and pastry in the dining room.

WHERE & WHEN: Elizabeth Bay House, Wed 21 & Thurs 22 June, 6.30am–8.30am
TICKETS: General: $20, Concession: $18, SLM members: $15

For more information on Sydney Living Museums, and for details on the full range of programs, visit www.sydneylivingmuseums.com.au.

 

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