Museum of Brisbane celebrates 20 years

MoB-Li-Cunxin-in-Mao’s-Last-Dancer-The-Exhibition-A-Portrait-of-Li-Cunxin-2017-photo-by-Jono-SearleMuseum of Brisbane (MoB) is celebrating 20 years as the home of storytelling of the people, places and events that have shaped Brisbane.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said following on from its grand opening on 25 October 2003 on the ground floor of Brisbane City Hall, MoB, and its exhibitions and programs, have gone from strength to strength with MoB having welcomed over 5,199,797 visitors through its doors since opening in 2003 and has hosted over 170 exhibitions.

“The inaugural exhibition, Bite the Blue Sky: Brisbane Beginnings, was the perfect opening, along with an opening day concert in King George Square that featured The Go-Betweens among others,” said Cr Schrinner.

“Since then, we’ve seen the Museum’s Collection grow into a world class catalogue of some of the city’s finest creatives including the likes of Margaret Olley, Daphne Mayo, Dylan Mooney, Judy Watson and Stephen Nothling to name a few.”

“MoB has been instrumental in introducing homegrown artists to Brisbane audiences and has won several state and national awards for its exhibitions over the last 20 years.”

“Now we’re inviting Brisbane residents to share in the celebration on Saturday 21 October to help mark 20 years of amazing exhibitions with a very special day out. Residents can enjoy tours, free workshops, talks and activities for the whole family plus the chance to win some very special MoB prizes.”

“Drop into the studio in the morning to make an Impossible Pot, see a very special Welcome to Country performance from Nunukul Yuggera, meet the Museum’s Curators and Collections team to find out how MoB bring exhibitions alive and stay on for a free object handling workshop where you can get your hands on real museum pieces,” said Cr Schrinner.

Museum of Brisbane CEO & Director Zoe Graham said she relishes the occasion of MoB’s 20th birthday to reflect on the institution’s legacy and propel the vision for the next two decades.

“I feel excited and energised about Museum of Brisbane and the ongoing opportunity as the preeminent storyteller of the people, places and events that have shaped and added texture to the city,” she said.

“Standout exhibitions include world-firsts and exclusives such as Mao’s Last Dancer the Exhibition in 2017 and a collaboration with Berlin-based theatre company Rimini Protokoll for 100% Brisbane in 2018.”

“Fashion-forward collaborations with Easton Pearson (2018) and Margot McKinney (2022) and a Brisbane collection of rare Hollywood costumes (2015) created some of MoB’s most sought-after shows, while others shone a light on lesser-known local history such as Bauhaus Now (2020) and Prejudice & Pride (2010).”

Cr Schrinner said the Museum of Brisbane continues to be a powerful platform for curated exhibitions that reflect the unique culture and inherent creativity of the city.

“We have an astounding array of local and trailblazing talent whose work spans decades and mediums and different heritage and cultures to tell the rich tale of our city’s ever-evolving lifestyle,” he said.

“I look forward to experiencing another 20 years of inspiring Museum of Brisbane exhibitions and events that are always uniquely Brisbane.”

For more information about the Museum of Brisbane, visit: for details.

Image: Li Cunxin in Mao’s Last Dancer The Exhibition A Portrait of Li Cunxin 2017 – photo by Jono Searle