FAQs

How far ahead do you plan exhibitions?

The MCA plans and develops its exhibitions program two to four years in advance. As well as exhibitions developed by the Museum’s in-house curatorial team, the MCA works with selected partner institutions in Australia and abroad, guest curators and artists, on collaborative and touring projects.

How can I let the MCA’s curatorial staff know about my artwork or an exhibition?

The MCA’s curatorial team is always interested in receiving material from artists introducing their practice. In addition, the team welcomes updates from artists on new projects or exhibitions in the form of electronic invitations, publications, newsletters, flyers and website details.

Material submitted to the curatorial department is circulated to the wider team as part of the ongoing research process.

The team’s preference is for material to be sent electronically via email to artisticprograms@mca.com.au. We do not accept original artworks. Please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your submission if you would like any hard copy material (eg. catalogues, photographic imagery, DVDs etc.) sent to the MCA’s curatorial team returned.

How do I submit an exhibition proposal?

The Museum’s temporary exhibitions and events are planned and developed two years or more in advance, and focus specifically on contemporary visual art. The MCA works directly with artists or their estates in presenting their work at the Museum. The majority of exhibitions presented at the MCA are developed in-house by the Museum’s curatorial team or in partnership with institutions. A limited number of projects are developed externally, often by invitation, with other arts organisations, curators or artists. As such we are rarely able to support unsolicited proposals.

If you would like to submit an exhibition proposal to the MCA, we require the following information:

  • Covering letter marked attention to the Curatorial Assistant (Programming), Curatorial Department
  • Project outline, including description of artists/works and biographical information on the artist/s and curator
  • Proposed dates, timeline and funding
  • Other relevant information
  • Quality visual material – no more than 10 good quality images per artist
  • Contact details

Please also note the following:

  • We prefer electronic exhibition proposals sent via email.
  • It is strongly advised to undertake preliminary research on the MCA’s exhibition program and spaces by visiting the website and/ or viewing the gallery spaces before submitting a proposal.
  • The MCA cannot accept original artwork.
  • Due to the volume of material we receive we are unable to return exhibition proposals submitted to the MCA. Please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your submission if you would like any hard copy material returned.
  • The MCA is unable to provide specific feedback or respond to proposals that are outside the focus of the organisation.
  • Proposals received by the MCA are circulated to the appropriate curatorial staff for consideration. Appropriate proposals are then assessed by the MCA Exhibitions Committee at quarterly meetings.
  • As the MCA receives a large number of proposals, a response may not be immediate, although we endeavour to respond to suitable proposals within two to three months.
  • We ask that you do not send through duplicate or additional material to the Directorate and Curatorial and Digital Department.

DOES THE MCA HAVE A PERMANENT COLLECTION?

Yes, the MCA has over 4,000 works of art in its collection. As part of its redevelopment in 2010/11, the MCA has dedicated an entire floor to its permanent collection. Each collection hang, which changes at irregular intervals, highlights some of the key works owned by the MCA.

HOW DO I DONATE WORKS TO THE MCA?

The MCA would be happy to discuss its collection policy and your proposed gift. Works of art can be donated to the MCA under the Cultural Gifts Program, which encourages gifts of significant cultural items by offering donors a tax deduction for their gifts (see arts.gov.au/cgp).

You can contact the Exhibitions Department of the MCA on artisticprograms@mca.com.au with information about your collection, or works within it, and this information will be circulated to the appropriate staff for discussion. Proposed donations undergo an evaluation process by the MCA’s Collections Development team, and are assessed on the basis of their significance and relevance to the Collection and its parameters; as well as broader artistic, financial, conservation and storage considerations.

HOW CAN I SEE IF THE MUSEUM IS INTERESTED IN PURCHASING WORKS OF ART FROM MY COLLECTION?

The MCA would be happy to discuss its collection policy and your proposal, however, the Museum does not purchase works of art from the secondary market.

You can contact the Exhibitions Department of the MCA on artisticprograms@mca.com.au with information about your proposal and this information will be circulated to the appropriate staff for discussion. Proposed purchases undergo an evaluation process by the MCA’s Collections Development team, and are assessed on the basis of their significance and relevance to the Collection and its parameters; as well as broader artistic, financial, conservation and storage considerations.

How is the MCA funded?

The MCA receives ongoing funding and support from the NSW State Government through Arts NSW and the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council. Each year the MCA raises 60% of its income from additional sources such as ticketed exhibitions and events, sponsorship, donations and venue hire.


Can I take photographs in the gallery?

General photography is permitted in the MCA galleries without the use of flash or a tripod. If you wish to seek copyright approval to photograph work for publication or personal use please contact the MCA’s Public Relations Manager on PublicityPR@mca.com.au. The MCA encourages use of smartphone devices to share and celebrate your stories and experiences in the Museum. See #MCANow for further information.

Can I sketch in the gallery?

Sketching with pencils in the MCA Galleries is permitted. If you wish to use other materials or to set up an easel, please speak to staff at the Level 1 Information Desk on arrival. If you wish to sketch with a group, please contact the MCA Education department on (+612) 9245 2484 or email education@mca.com.au.

Can I get permission to use images?

If you require an image to accompany a review or article about a current, recent or future exhibition at the MCA please contact the MCA’s Publicity and Public Relations department via publicity@mca.com.au. If you require images of a particular artist’s work not directly related to an MCA exhibition, please contact that artist’s representative.

Can I get reproductions of artworks?

The MCA Store sells a range of cards, catalogues and posters for most exhibitions.

How do I get permission to reprint text from MCA’s publications?

Please send your request via email to artisticprograms@mca.com.au or in writing to the postal address below:

Exhibitions Assistant, Curatorial and Digital
MCA, PO Box R1286
Sydney NSW 1223 Australia

Please note all MCA texts are copyright of the MCA and its authors and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the MCA.

Do you have guided tours?

Yes, the MCA runs free guided tours of exhibitions daily.
WEEKDAYS: 11.00am and 1.00pm
THURSDAYS: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 7.00pm
WEEKENDS: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm

Where is the closest parking to the MCA?

  • Clock Tower Carpark (Corner of Harrington and Argyle Streets)
  • Secure Parking (155 George Street, The Rocks)
  • Overseas Passenger Terminal (Lower Argyle Street, The Rocks)

How do I get a job/internship at the MCA?

Check the Get Involved section of this website for information about current positions vacant, internships and work experience programs.

Do you run art classes?

The MCA runs a range of practical programs for all age groups. School and school holiday programs, special events, lectures, forums and talks by artists are held throughout the year. For details, see What's On.

Is there an entry charge?

Admission to the MCA and its exhibitions are free. The MCA does charge entry to special exhibitions – usually one per year – although, with numerous exhibitions open simultaneously there is always a free exhibition to view.

Does the MCA have a membership program?

The MCA has a Membership program which offers free entry to paid exhibitions and a range of other discounts. For further details, go to Get Involved, email membership@mca.com.au or call (+612) 9245 2413.

Do you have a volunteer program?

Yes, for more information please see the Get Involved section of this website.

Is the Museum wheelchair accessible? Are wheelchairs available in the Museum?

All public access areas of the MCA are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are also available on request from the MCA Level 1 Information desk.

Who can use the Museum Library?

The MCA Library is available as a resource to anyone. It is a volunteer-run service and opening hours vary. Please contact the MCA on (+612) 9245 2400 to confirm opening hours.

Does the MCA sell works of art?

The MCA is “dedicated to the exhibition, interpretation and collection of the art and ideas of today” (MCA Collection Policy 2003), and does not sell art works to the public. It exhibits artists’ works, which are either on loan from artists or other institutions and collections, and it acquires art works for the MCA collection through purchase and gift.

What is the background of the artwork by Imants Tillers on the wall in the MCA Level 1 foyer?

Pure Beauty (1991-1997) by Imants Tillers is a commissioned work for permanent display in the MCA foyer. The work honours the MCA’s founding donors, who by making a donation had their names painted into the work. The work is made from synthetic polymer paint on canvas boards, and was originally titled Kunst = Kapital. The title changed to Pure Beauty by the time it was installed in October 1991, for the mid-November opening of the MCA.

The stated date of 1991 – 1997 is the period that names were added to the work. There have been a couple of names added since 1997, but there is no current program in place for any more names to be added.

It is fine for the public to take photographs of Pure Beauty as long as they don’t use a flash and it is not for publication purposes.