Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

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[3] former Maritime Services Board Building on the western edge of Circular Quay.

Museum of Contemporary Art
The latest Mordant Wing[1] at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney's Circular Quay
Established1991 (1991)
LocationCircular Quay, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates33°51′36″S 151°12′32″E
TypeContemporary art
Visitors1,206,243 (2016)[2]
FounderJohn Power; University of Sydney
DirectorElizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE
ChairpersonSimon Mordant AM
Public transit access

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,[4] reopening on 29 March 2012 under its current name as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.[5][6] 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 201012 were to a design by Sydney architect Sam Marshall. The new extension, called the Mordant Wing, opened in March 2012.[7][8]

The MCA is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation which receives ongoing funding and support from the NSW State Government through Arts NSW and the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council. Every year, the MCA raises approximately 70% of its income from a variety of sources such as exhibitions and events, sponsorship, donations and venue hire.[9]

See also


  1. Craswell, Penny (12 April 2012). "The reimagined Museum of Contemporary Art". ArchitectureAU. Architecture Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  2. "Visitor Figures 2016" (PDF). The Art Newspaper Review. April 2017. p. 14. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  3. "Museum of Contemporary Art". Sydney Architecture. n.d. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  4. "Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art to reopen in 2012". World Interior Design Network. Australia. 26 May 2012. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  5. Brownell, Ginanne (20 March 2012). "A Makeover for Contemporary Art in Sydney". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  6. Kneen, Dale (Summer 2012). "Starchitects In Our Eyes". High Life. British Airways: 16–17.
  7. Craswell, Penny (12 April 2012). "The reimagined Museum of Contemporary Art". ArchitectureAU. Architecture Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  8. "The MCA's new Mordant Wing". Artist Profile. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  9. "About the MCA". Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

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