Chau Chak Wing Museum

Moving in to the new museum

5 August 2020
New technologies, stunning vistas and purpose-designed galleries
Meet some of the Chau Chak Wing Museum staff as they share their thoughts on the new building. Discover what they are most excited about, one week after moving in.

Plans become reality

After so many years of planning, walking through the newly finished building is a surreal experience for many of our team. 

Paul Donnelly

"This is a unique time in our history when we are empty! While there is great anticipation at installing the exhibits, many of us have been living and breathing this building for many years. In this brief period of relative calm I am loving walking through what was plans and models and recalling the myriad decisions that have made it a reality."

– Dr Paul Donnelly, Deputy Director

Candace Richards

"I'm really looking forward to install! The very first objects for my exhibition 'Roman Spectres' were bought into the new museum today to await their installation. Seeing the objects fill the space will be such a happy moment and relief after what has been three years of research, writing, the difficult object selection process (how do you choose from so many delightful artefacts?), and the seemingly never ending editing… This is the final stage of a very long process, and of course, the most exciting!"

– Candace Richards, Assistant Curator, Nicholson Collection

Museum staff at the Chau chak Wing Museum

Staff inductions, week one at the new museum.

New ways of connecting

From the four new object-based learning studios, to the many stunning exhibition spaces, the Chau Chak Wing Museum is packed full of opportunities to connect with audiences in dynamic ways.

Craig Barker

"I cannot wait to begin teaching in this space; I am so excited about the opportunities our new exhibitions and facilities are going to bring to engage with students of all ages and backgrounds in new, interesting and dynamic ways."

– Dr Craig Barker, Head, Public Engagement

Matt Poll

Pretty excited about testing out new media and technology infrastructure in the teaching, exhibition and research spaces in the new museum.  Also being able to develop interactive content with audiences not present in the museum, as well as bringing real world and real time conversations with anyone around the country, or around the world,  is going to be pretty amazing.”

– Matt Poll, Assistant Curator, Indigenous Heritage

Shuxia Chen

"I look forward to all the carefully curated exhibitions that manifest new knowledge and challenging ideas beneficial to our communities." 

– Dr Shuxia Chen, Curator, China Gallery

Craig Barker sitting at a desk

Dr Craig Barker setting up the new education studio.

Immersed in greenery  

A key feature of the building is its many views of the surrounding trees and landscape, and its seamless integration into an existing site.

Jude Philp

"Strangely, given my work, I most enjoy looking outwards when I visit museums and galleries. And for me this is one of the joyful aspects of the new building – the views through the graceful 'damun' (the name for Port Jackson fig trees in the Sydney language). A group of us worked on finding plants of this area and connecting them with the Sydney language names and I’m really looking forward to learning those names and the plants of our region intimately!

– Dr Jude Philp, Senior Curator, Macleay Collections

Ann Stephen

"It’s remarkable how the new museum sits so lightly on the slope, it appears to hover in the fig trees while its five floors are hidden in the hillside. From the interior, the building opens up wonderful vistas on all sides - framing the city through Victoria Park, the grand expanse of the Quadrangle and aerial views through the trees, even turning Parramatta Road into a traditional Chinese painting. I am most looking forward to, for the first time, being able to show the remarkable iceberg that is the art collection in all its depth."

– Dr Ann Stephen, Senior Curator, University Art Collection

Workmen with sculpture in loading dock

The loading dock being put to good use as Hathor is moved into the building.

Purpose-built facilities 

For the first time, the teams from the Nicholson Collection, Macleay Collections and University Art Collection are all together in the same building, along with the collections management, education and public engagement teams. 

Chris Jones

"I am loving how accessible the building is, with a large truck dock and a goods lift that provides access to all collection store and exhibition spaces. I am also looking forward to working in the same space as my colleagues- this has never happened before! I have been impressed by the beautiful lighting and variety of vistas inside the building. Every turn is a surprise."

– Chris Jones, Collections Manager, Documentation

Eve Guerry

"I'm loving sitting with my colleagues and feeling connected to the team. All the friendly and informal chats in passing usually lead to something unexpectedly useful too."

– Dr Eve Guerry, Academic Engagement Curator

Alayne Alvis

"I am really enjoying the lovely window in the Conservation Laboratory. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the public reacts when they come in. You can design for something to be used a particular way, and people can surprise you by doing something completely differently."

– Alayne Alvis, Conservator 

David James

"Having spent the last 3 years in temporary or makeshift studio spaces during the digitization project, I now have the pleasure of working from a fantastic dedicated purpose built and well-equipped photographic studio inside the newly completed CCWM building. Having a formal photographic studio now means that I have a permanent space to set up shop and greater scope for photographic production. These are exciting times and I feel very privileged being part of this marvellous institution."

– David James, Museum Photographer

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