Cultural Centre, Perth
Western Australia Museum consists of several departments that present history, culture, flora and fauna of Perth and Western Australia.
Old Gaol: The restored building contains an exhibition on life in 19th century Perth, furniture and household items, a blacksmith's shop, a pharmacy, technical devices like grammophones and telephones, and children's clothes and toys.
Natural history and science: A traditional natural history museum showing birds, mammals, butterflies, maritime gallery - mostly dead stuffed animals and preparates. Not my favourite part.
Discovery centre for adults and children: interactive exhibition on nature with materials to touch, drawers to open, and a lot of discoveries to be made.
West Australia - Land and People exhibition in the old library wing, left of the main entrance.
This exhibition is excellent and absolutely worth visiting. The best the museum has to offer.
The presentation begins with the creation of the world a) according to the local aboriginal myth and b) according to modern science, both presented as equals. The era of the dinosaurs. the arrival and life of the aborigines. White settlement and colonization, including both the life of the early settlers and the consequences for the native population, are explained from individual persons and their fates, proved by historical sources. Cultural differences are shown from the perspectives of both winners and losers.
The second half is dedicated to man's interference with nature and its environmental consequences: Farming, mining, whaling and fishing, wood industry, gold rush and exploitation of other natural ressources, the growth of Perth metropolis. Resulting ecology problems like salination (which I was then able to observe and understand during our drive to Kalgoorlie and Esperance a few days later), lack of water, extinction of native animal species because of pollution, traffic and forest clearing, the introduction of feral animals.
All these aspects together are presented and explained in a general overview that shows the complexity of the sensitive ecosystem. Computer touchscreens allow venturing for further information to your liking.
Established in 1891 as the Perth Museum, the Museum of WA has become one of the oldest scientific institutions in the State. Primarily the collections were made up of geological, ethnological and biological specimens but in 1959 a botanical collection was transferred to the new Herbarium and the concentration was on earth sciences and zoology. Further collections have been added of anthropological, archaeological, maritime archaeological and social and cultural history. In the courtyard, set in its own preservative bath is a Megamouth, one of the largest species of shark and only one of about 5 that have ever been captured. The museum complex includes Perth’s original prison and an old settlers cottage.
Open daily 9.30am to 5pm Entrance is free
In the courtyard beside the old gaol are two meteorites which were found by Mr A.J. Carlisle in the Nullarbor Plain just 630km east of Kalgoorlie. They weigh 840kg and 800kg respectively. There is a similar one (although 11 tonne) Mundrabilla iron meteorite on display in the Francis St foyer of the museum.
This is a Muscat grapevine which is thought to have been planted in the late 1850’s. It is likely to be one of the oldest in Western Australia. There is an old photo next to the grapevine on the wall of the Old Gaol which clearly shows the grapevine as it was then in 1890.
The construction of the old Perth Gaol took from 1854 to1956. The original plans were for a cruciform plan, two floor levels and a partial basement. However the end result was reduced to just a cell range, chapel and gaolers quarters and yards.
Admission is free.
The cultural centre is just north of the main train station. Here you will find the WA Museum, the art Gallery, the library and theatre. There are several art pieces in the centre including this (1967) bronze statue of ‘Der Rufer’ (The Caller). The artist is Gerhard Marcks and the piece is owned by the Art Gallery of WA. The artist was inspired when he stood next to a man who called across a river to attract the ferryman on the other side.
There is a Museum Shop which is in the old gaol building. The shop specialises in natural and social science titles for all ages. They have one of the largest selections of Aboriginal titles in WA as well. They will order any book for you as well. There are also gift items as well. Next to the Museum Shop is the Museum café.
Open daily. Weekdays 10.00am – 4.45pm, Weekends 11.00am – 4.45pm. Closed public holidays.
The Art Gallery offers "exciting encounters with the art of Western Australia, Australian Indigenous art and the art of the world" (quote from their website).
The house hosts an impressive collection of indigenous art. I do not know enough about the art of Australia's aborigines to really appreciate the quality but the collection seems to be at highest level. All I could do was watch and marvel - the works are unusual to the eyes of a western art historian but definitely fascinating.
Large parts of the gallery are used for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, often two or three at the same time. Check on the website what is on, or let yourself be surprised. I got to see an exhibition of art works done by 12th grade high school students which was surprisingly good.
Split between the old and the new is the Art Gallery of Western Australia. One half of the gallery is housed in a new and not particularly attractive building (opened in 1979) while the rest is housed in the old Colonial Courthouse (built 1885-1886). In the old building you will find the historic Centenary Galleries a progression of non-indigenous art in Australia. Many of the styles were brought to Australia by early settlers. One artist is Louis Buvelot who arrived from Switzerland in 1865 and who had a noted influence on Australian landscape painters. There are also interesting carvings, one is of a 1907 ceremonial chair.
Open daily 10am to 5pm Admission is Free
In the square of the Cultural Centre is the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art – also known as PICA. They promote new and experimental art and performances are regularly held at the Blue Room next door. They also hold workshops, symposia and artist in residence programs.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 11am to 7pm Entrance varies.
The old library was originally established in Perth to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Originally the library was located in the old WA Bank Building across the road which opened in 1889. In 1897 it moved to the Jubilee building and also housed the Museum and Art Gallery. Because of the tribute to Queen Victoria, the library was first called the Victoria Public Library but in 1904 was renamed the Public Library of Western Australia before being renamed again in 1955 as the State Library of Western Australia.
In 1984 the new library building opened bringing together the disjointed buildings and annexes of the old library. The official opening of the new Alexander Library was in 1985. Inside the library is quite impressive with six floors for both staff and public use and large voids with bridges to allow access to the various sections of the library. There is also glass-fronted lifts for easy access for the disabled. There is also a bookshop which claims it will match any book store in the city as well as another bookshop selling used library books at a very good rate. The building cost $37.6 million and that excluded the cost of the carpark.
Open Times: 09.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday 09.00am to 9.45pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 02.00pm to 5.30pm Saturday and Sunday
western australian museum provided very useful informations about men of nature in western australia in particularly and about australia continent in general.
one of the most interesting section is hellenic gallery where we can learn about katta djinoong, the noongar or nyungah from aboriginal tribes who became first people in western australia.
advice donation: AUD2
The Art Gallery was founded in 1895 and was opened as part of the Perth Museum. For many years the institution was known as the Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of WA. A contract for a new art gallery was signed in 1977and the building was opened in 1979. The highlight of their extensive collection is art of Western Australia, Australian Indigenous art and the art of the world.
Western Australian Museum
I was really impressed with this museum. There were many different areas to explore, such as, the History of western Australia, Diamonds to Dinosaurs, and one of the only megamouths specimens in existance.