Ten Australian niche museums

Have you ever viewed a sculpture 40 feet underwater? Or taken a peek into the bedrooms of Russia's aristocracy? Australia’s niche museums look into obscure interests and personal passions.

The landscape of our cultural institutions is shifting – and many are now using COVID-19 as an opportunity to reflect on the role of the museum itself.

What makes a museum? Is it the collection, professional staff or the building itself? In a capitalist era, the tendency may be to chase funding or subscribe to viewer tastes with blockbusters, but museums also have a loftier role – preserving and communicating our history and culture. Then again, whose history and culture are we preserving?

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Penny Craswell
About the Author
Penny Craswell's first book Design Lives Here: Australian Interiors, Furniture and Lighting was published by Thames & Hudson in 2020. She is the former Editor of  Artichoke, Deputy Editor of  Indesign  and Frame magazines, and has been published widely in design periodicals, books and online media around the world. Penny is Creative Strategy Associate at the Australian Design Centre (ADC) and Co-Director of Sydney Craft Week. She is based in Sydney and her blog is The Design Writer.