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An artist's impression of the new Chau Chak Wing Museum.
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The new Chau Chak Wing Museum

Find the unexpected: art, science, history and ancient cultures
Sydney’s newest museum brings three powerful collections to a stunning, purpose-built space at the University of Sydney.

Located in the heart of the University of Sydney, the Chau Chak Wing Museum was designed to share the University of Sydney’s vast collections with the broader community. 

The collections began with the Nicholson Collection of antiquities in 1860 and continued to grow to include the Macleay Collections of natural history, ethnography, science and historic photography, and the University Art Collection. The Chau Chak Wing Museum was designed by Johnson Pilton Walker to unite these diverse collections in one multidisciplinary institution.

While the collections themselves aren’t new, being able to see them is. The Chau Chak Wing Museum triples the exhibition space previously available. 70 per cent of the items on display have not been seen publicly for over 20 years. 

From ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, to the art of First Nations people, and the works of leading contemporary artists, the Chau Chak Wing Museum is open to all as a centre of cultural and artistic excellence. 

The University of Sydney is dedicated to a multidisciplinary vision of teaching and research, to breaking down knowledge sharing barriers. The museum has embodied that approach through the curation of diverse exhibitions with free access for all.
David Ellis, Director, Museums and Cultural Engagement

A museum with more than meets the eye

Transformative research

Many of the museum’s objects pose intiguing questions. To uncover answers, the museum is equipped with the latest facilities allowing researchers to examine, understand and share new discoveries.

Multidisciplinary learning

The Museum’s education programs are designed to have an impact that lasts a lifetime. The museum will become a classroom for the University’s own students, offering object-based learning experiences across all disciplines. Visiting primary and secondary students will have the opportunity to hold ancient treasures in their hands in dedicated learing spaces. 

Museum shop and café

The museum shop features Chau Chak Wing Museum merchandise, plus books, toys and more inspired by our collections.

The café is a new casual eatery by The Little Marionette, one of Australia's leading coffee roasters. Their offering will include brunch, lunch and a broad selection of coffee as well as a carefully curated wine list.

Three collections united

The long-held dream of bringing the University’s three major collections together, pieced together over more than 150 years, was realised thanks to the foresight and generosity of  Dr Chau Chak Wing, the Chinese-Australian businessman and philanthropist, and our other donors: The Ian Potter Foundation, Nelson Meers Foundation and Penelope Seidler AM. Read more about our benefactors.

Find out more about our collections:


Featured image (top of the page): The Chau Chak Wing Museum at dusk. Photo: Anthony Fretwell. 

Facts & figures

  • 443,900+ collection items in total
  • 2252 objects never before exhibited now on display
  • 8,000+ paintings, sculptures and contemporary artworks
  • 315,400+ insects in the entomology collection
  • The largest collection of antiquities in Australia
  • 50,000 historic photographs
  • 2,000 square metres of exhibition space

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