This impressive Brisbane City Council owned museum offers an insight into the social history and visual arts of Brisbane – its people, places and stories, with year round free exhibitions and public programs.
It is also an outlet for the impressive local art collection held in trust by the council, which come out of the archives via various themed expos.
Housed in a purpose built light-filled premise on the top floor of the Brisbane City Hall, entry is by the lift that goes up to the clocktower.
Light Fantastic: Expo 88 Parades Rewired
It's 25 years since Brisbane made its debut from sleepy oversized country town to a fledgling city, with the six months that changed it forever – Expo '88. And for any Brisbane resident who lived through it, it left an indelible memory, from the nightly chicken dances in the German pavilion, the queue at the New Zealand pavilion, the daily Disneyland style light parades, or the incredible camaraderie the city experienced during that time. Light Fantastic is part of a trip down memory lane to relive some of those Expo moments, with one room of the museum showing the fabulous Lunchtime and Light Fantastic Parades that enthralled crowds daily and another devoted to the designers, artists, costume and float makers, technicians and performers who collaborated behind the scenes to create them.
Also on show are some of the volunteer's uniforms and mascots that helped define Expo. Those that would like to see the remnants of Expo that remain scattered around the city can take a tour with one of Brisbane's Meeters and Greeters from the Visitor Info booth at Queen St Mall or take a self tour with maps that are available there. Until Jan 27 2014.
More Brisbane history, dating back to the 1860s is on show in the Panorama room, with Panorama: A History of Brisbane Photography. The changing landscape of Brisbane is captured in a series of powerful panoramic images that not only depict the changing landscape but forgotten aspects of everyday life throughout the past 150 years. And with the use of interactive media, viewers can compare scenes from yesterday and today. Panorama is the inaugural exhibition of 'Document', an ongoing depiction of the way artists, photographers and individuals view and record the landscape, history and culture of Brisbane. Until Oct 6 2013.
The River: A History of Brisbane
The lengthy side gallery hosts The River: A History of Brisbane up until January 2016. This fascinating expo, a mix of photographic, artworks and memorabilia is devoted to Brisbane's river and its central role as a source of industry, recreation, life and heartache for residents from the original land owners through the penal and free white settlement years until today. Until Jan 2016.