History Site Study

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Heritage Site Study
Section A – Site Planning and Inquiry
The two sites I am interested in studying are the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and St Mary’s Cathedral. It would be particularly easy to get to both sites, as I am going to an Art excursion to the Art Gallery of NSW, and we are passing St Mary’s Cathedral on our way there. The problem is, we are not visiting St Mary’s Cathedral, therefor I wouldn’t have a chance to go inside the cathedral and properly visit. Whereas I would be going inside the Art Gallery, as we are viewing the Archibald Exhibition and other art collections. If I study the Art Gallery, the fee to see the Archibald expedition is already paid for in my fees and its free entry to view the modern and contemporary art collections. But though I’m going with my Art class, I might not have all the time I need to fully see all aspects of the Gallery. The positives for visiting St Mary’s Cathedral are that it is open from Monday to Friday, 6:30am to 6:30pm, for the public to visit. The negative is, if I were to choose St Mary’s Cathedral, I would have to go another day to properly go inside the church and look around. My final choice to do my study on is The Art Gallery of New South Wales, as I am already going for a school excursion, I don’t have to go out of my way to visit the site, and I will see the Archibald expedition as well as all the other permanent collections in the art gallery. Section B1 – Site visit and Chronology

I visited the Art Gallery of NSW on the 10th of May, at the time of midday.

The main features of this site are the beautiful modern and contemporary artwork displayed in big, light filled spaces. The gallery includes a collection of colonial and 19th century Australian works and European old masters. There are also dedicated galleries celebrating arts of Asia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander art. There are more than thirty temporary exhibitions a year, including the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes, and the Art Express. Also the structure of the building is stunning, with the six columns at the front of the museum, and the beautiful, old sandstone walls. The older rooms of the gallery extend to the right of the foyer, and have been maintained in late 19th-century style, to display the gallery's collection of early European, 19th-century and Australian Impressionist works. The later extensions to the building are on five levels and contain a central long gallery giving access to other parts of the building, multi-purpose and specialised exhibition spaces, services such as lifts and escalators, restaurants, shops, terraces, a sculpture garden and windows with extended views of the harbour. One of the most popular art museums in Australia, visited by over 1.3 million people a year, the art gallery has many more uses than to just look at pictures. It’s also a place to enjoy lectures, films, music and performances, meet friends for lunch or a coffee in the café or restaurant, or browse in the gallery shop. And more than 100 000 students visit each year to take part in the engaging and interesting education programs. The art gallery began in the late 1800’s. Evidence of earlier use of the site is clear when you first look at the gallery, the old, antique architecture, sandstone walls, high raised ceilings and many old artworks dating back to the 1800’s. There have now been many extensions added to the site, in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Art gallery of NSW is a National Estate heritage listed. The Register of the National Estate is a listing of natural and cultural heritage places in Australia. Section C –Evaluation

The Art Gallery of NSW site has changed quite a lot over the 20th Century. There have been a number of extensions added on including a new Asian arts wing that was opened on the 23rd October, 2003, which also included changes to the original Asian gallery, a new temporary exhibition space above the Art Gallery's entrance foyer, new conservation studios, a...
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