Art galleries

The Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia stage major events, including exhibitions by leading national and international artists. You’ll find more paintings and drawings at the Museum of Sydney. Discover contemporary Chinese art at the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, an easy walk from Central Station.

Visit private galleries in The Rocks, including the Ken Done Gallery and those specialising in Aboriginal art. The public S. H. Ervin Gallery is on Observatory Hill, also in The Rocks. In Sydney’s east find leading private galleries such as Olsen Irwin in Woollahra and the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington.

Portrait of Jenny Kee, Archibald Prize, Sydney
Yiribana Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Splendid art in Sydney

The Art Gallery of NSW is Sydney’s most important public gallery with more than 30,000 works in its collection. The gallery is in the Domain, near the city centre, and admission is free. It is one of the major attractions for visitors to Sydney.

The gallery showcases the work of Australian and European artists, including the old masters. There are galleries dedicated to Aboriginal and Asian artworks, and a large photography collection. About 40 temporary exhibitions are staged each year.

Among the many Australian collection highlights are Russell Drysdale’s 1945 Walls of China, John Olsen’s 1963 Five Bells, Ben Quilty’s 2012 Fairy Bower Rorschach, Arthur Streeton’s 1891 Fire’s on and Frederick McCubbin’s 1896 On the Wallaby Track.

The gallery’s elegant restaurant and café have views of Potts Point, Woolloomooloo and the Garden Island naval base. From the gallery, enjoy a stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden to the Sydney Opera House and then to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, which is in The Rocks.

The MCA, which has a popular rooftop café with great views of the Sydney Opera House, has collected thousands of works by Australian artists since it opened in 1991. With an emphasis on living artists, the collection includes paintings, photography, video, sculpture and installation art.