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This summer’s blockbuster exhibitions

Monika Damcevska and VisitCanberra

Every summer, Canberra delivers a sensational line-up of blockbuster exhibitions in its world-class galleries, museums and libraries, and this season’s offering is no exception.

Whether you’re

Memories of the Struggle – Australians Against Apartheid at Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

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This powerful exhibition explores Australia’s involvement and leadership in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Discover the stories, voices and memories of some of the Australians and South African expatriates who worked hard over decades to bring about the end of apartheid. These supporters often faced bitter opposition, and some were jailed for their actions. Memories of the Struggle pays tribute to the dedication and commitment to all those who took part in this international movement. 

See the Springbok rugby jersey worn by Gary Foley, Sir Donald Bradman’s hand written letters to Meredith Burgmann, reproductions of artwork by George Gittoes, memorabilia from Nelson Mandela’s 1990 visit to Australia, new films and interviews, and much more. 

Adult $2.00 | Child $1.00 | Concession $1.00 | Family $5.00

On until 27 April 2017 

ATHOL SHMITH AT THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA

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Melbourne photographer Athol Shmith was a celebrated studio and portrait photographer who captured high fashion and glamour between the 1930s and 1980s. Some of the most stunning examples of his work are now on show at the National Library of Australia to complement the library’s summer exhibition The Sell: Australian Advertising 1790s to 1990s (see below).

Athol Shmith Fashion Photographs is a Collection-In-Focus display with curator Dr Susannah Helman describing Shmith (1914-1990) as an artist like few other fashion photographers of his time.

“His work was stunning, elegant, loud and often experimental,” she said. “He worked in fashion, theatre and advertising as well as on private commissions, weddings and portraits.

On until 17 July 2017. Free. For more information go to nla.gov.au

A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum at National Museum of Australia

a history of the world in 100 objects

This major international exhibition will explore the history of humanity – how we have shaped the world and how the world has shaped us. Each object featured marks a point on the journey through history, from two million years ago until the present. Witness compelling stories expressed through this beautiful collection of artefacts from all across the world.

$20 adult | $60 season pass
$15 concession | $8 child | $45 family

On until 29 January 2017

Glass Alphabet at Canberra Museum and Gallery

Produced by some of Australia’s most prominent glass artists connected with the Canberra region, this exhibition showcases some unique conceptual work and is composed of 26 individual objects, each depicting a letter of the alphabet.

On until 10 September 2017

Versailles: Treasures from the Palace at National Gallery of Australia

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A collection of over 130 treasures from the Palace of Versailles has come to Australia in this exhibition, exclusive to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. This exhibition embodies the opulence, extravagance and beauty of a period that is so central to French history and brings to life three kings, their queens and their mistresses.

Highlight include magnificent works such as the marble bust of Louis XIV, the Dauphin’s fine writing desk, the original sculpture from the centre of Versailles’ main fountain and Marie-Antoinette’s porcelain.

On until April 2017

Mud men: Ramesh Nithiyendran at National Gallery of Australia

Mud Men is an installation comprising five large-scale ceramic sculptures, including four new works that are only just being exhibited for the first time. Ramesh Nithiyendran, a Sydney-based artist draws from wildly varied subject matter, including Hindu and Christian religions, patriarchy and its opposition in queer and feminist theory. He also incorporates motifs from art history.

Free entry. On until 30 January 2017

The Popular Pet Show at the National Portrait Gallery

Billie, 2016 by Graeme Drendel

Billie, 2016 by Graeme Drendel

The Popular Pet Show expresses the joy and warmth that many of us derive from our animal companions, while celebrating their trusting, unpretentious ways.

Comprising exuberant recent Australian paintings, many on a large scale, the exhibition includes portraits of famous and obscure Australians and their pets by contemporary artists including Nicholas Harding, Lucy Culliton, Ken Done, Robyn Sweaney and Davida Allen. Many works have been created especially for the exhibition.

On until 13 March 2017

Joanna Bone: In Depth at Canberra Glassworks

Inspired by found objects including sea grasses, sand dollars and other marine creatures, artist Joanna Bone and her father spent many hours imagining the exotic environments from which they were discovered.

On until 15 January 2017

The Sell: Australian Advertising 1790s To 1990s at the National Library of Australia

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Step back in time, into the ads of Australia’s past. Through highlights from the Library’s vast collections, this exhibition explores how Australian advertising has used words, images and sound to inform and persuade. It traces how advertising has evolved as society and technology have changed, asking what it reveals about the everyday lives of Australians from the 1790s to the 1990s.

From wanted posters to ads for underwear and chocolates, Vegemite and Minties, to the ‘Life. Be in it’ and ‘Do the Right Thing’ campaigns, there will be something to push everyone’s buttons!

On until 25 April 2017

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Monika Damcevska

Monika is a 23-year-old Canberra O.G., born and bred in the Nation's Capital. She is a lover of food, wine, coffee and travel (not in any particular order) and can usually be found hip-hopping around, enjoying all of the above. Follow Mon on Instagram (@moanme) for a glimpse into her day-to-day shenanigans. More about the Author

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VisitCanberra

At VisitCanberra, Canberra’s official tourism and destination marketing organisation, we are passionate about promoting the city as a travel destination and bringing visitors to our capital. When you take a trip to Canberra, prepare for one good thing after another. Because whether it’s world-class wining and dining, iconic national treasures or breathtaking natural beauty, everything you’re after is there and just moments away. Find us at www.visitcanberra.com.au or follow us on social media @visitcanberra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on Pinterest @ CanberraTourism. More about the Author

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