Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

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Museum of Contemporary Art
SydneyMuseumContemporaryArt gobeirne.jpg
The façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney's Circular Quay
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is located in Sydney
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Location in Sydney
Established 1991; 25 years ago (1991)
Location Circular Quay, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 33°51′36″S 151°12′32″E / 33.860019°S 151.208999°E / -33.860019; 151.208999Coordinates: 33°51′36″S 151°12′32″E / 33.860019°S 151.208999°E / -33.860019; 151.208999
Type Contemporary art
Founder John Power; University of Sydney
Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE
Chairperson Simon Mordant AM
Public transit access

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (abbreviated MCA), located in Sydney, Australia, is an Australian museum solely dedicated to exhibiting, interpreting and collecting contemporary art, both from across Australia and around the world. It is housed in the art deco-style former Maritime Services Board Building on the western edge of Circular Quay.

The museum was opened in 1991 as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and from 2010 underwent an A$58 million expansion and re-development,[1] reopening on 29 March 2012 under its current name as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.[2][3] The collection contains over 4,000 works by Australian artists that have been acquired since 1989. The collection spans all art forms with strong holdings in painting, photography, sculpture, works on paper and moving image, as well as significant representation of works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.


The establishment of the MCA was mandated in the will of Australian expatriate artist John Power (1881–1943), who bequeathed his personal fortune to the University of Sydney with the express purpose of informing and educating Australians in the contemporary visual arts.

With the relocation of the Maritime Services Board (MSB) to larger premises in 1989, the building and site was donated by the Government of New South Wales to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Funded by the University of Sydney and the Power Bequest, restoration and refurbishment of the building commenced in 1990 under the direction of Andrew Anderson of Peddle Thorpe/John Holland Interiors and in November 1991 the Museum of Contemporary Art officially opened.

Extensions made in 2010–12 were to a design by Sydney architect Sam Marshall. The new extension, called the Mordant Wing, opened in March 2012.


  1. ^ "Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art to reopen in 2012". World Interior Design Network. Australia. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  2. ^ Brownell, Ginanne (20 March 2012). "A Makeover for Contemporary Art in Sydney". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  3. ^ Kneen, Dale (Summer 2012). "Starchitects In Our Eyes". High Life. British Airways: 16–17. 

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