Star-Studded Treasure Trove Set For Unique Reveal

19 October 2022

Some of the most treasured items made famous by the biggest names in Australia’s entertainment industry will be showcased and preserved, with a unique new attraction backed by the Andrews Labor Government.

From Kylie Minogue’s gold hotpants to Nick Cave’s notebook, a new $2.2 million Australian Performing Arts Collection space at Hamer Hall will showcase the nation’s largest performing arts collection to the public eye.

Visitors will have unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the state-owned collection which includes more than 780,000 items, ranging from costumes worn by Dame Nellie Melba to the Ossie Ostrich puppet from Hey Hey It’s Saturday and a 1930s magic steel trunk used by The Great Levante.

Through guided tours, programs, events and activations, visitors will be able to learn more about the collection and see Arts Centre Melbourne’s experts at work as they care for these unique items, undertaking conservation work and preparing for exhibitions.

At its heart, this is an important working space, including Arts Centre Melbourne’s first ever conservation lab to preserve collections on site and an enhanced photography studio to digitise collections and develop online exhibitions. It also features a glass-cased exhibition ‘laneway’ where visitors can view collection items.

Designed by Melbourne-based Williams Ross Architects, the Australian Performing Arts Centre Collections space is the first storage, research and education facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

The new Australian Performing Arts Collection space has been supported by the Labor Government with philanthropists Virginia and Harry Boon, and Maxwell and Merle Carroll Bequest.

The Australian Performing Arts Collection opens to the public in June 2023.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos

“As Australia’s cultural capital, Victoria is home to the nation’s largest, most star-studded performing arts collection, full of gems that celebrate our rich history of entertainment and our greatest talents.”

“This new space revolutionises collections care through state-of-the-art facilities and only Labor will back Victoria’s creative industries to ensure they have the facilities and support to keep doing what they do best.”

Quote attributable to Kylie Minogue

“The Australian Performing Arts Collection is home to more than 1,000 items from my career including costumes and accessories. I am so thankful that with the help of the expert and passionate collections team, these items can be shared with generations to come. It’s so exciting that fans, music and history lovers will be able to see some of them up close and personal amongst so many other treasures housed in the new space.”

Quote attributable to Karen Quinlan, CEO, Arts Centre Melbourne

“As proud custodians of the Australian Performing Arts Collection we are delighted to uncover and share this hidden treasure with the people of Victoria. We hope they will feel ownership and pride in this State Collection.”

Reviewed 19 October 2022

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