Visions of a Colony: History on (dis)play at the Museum of Sydney

Armanda Scorrano


When it first opened in 1995, the Museum of Sydney (MoS) received praise from some quarters for its innovative representations of the city’s history, but it was increasingly criticised for its inaccessibility due to its postmodern approach. This highlights the tension between curatorial style and content that museums must negotiate in order to meet the needs of their audiences. Taking MoS as a case study, this article argues that public history museums are limited in their ability to break new ground when they must also remain accessible and relevant to the publics they serve.


Public history; museums; Australian history; Museum of Sydney; postmodernsim

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