Melbourne Museum turned Inside Out

Inside Out, a new exhibition designed as a love song to Museums Victoria’s collection of 17 million objects, opens Saturday!

In a reimagining of the museum experience, Melbourne Museum will open its flagship summer exhibition this Saturday 23 December with plenty of unexpected sights and sounds, and none of the usual static exhibition text or labels.

Inside Out takes visitors on a surreal journey through a series of vibrant vignettes and abstracted everyday environments, from a High Street shop window display to a camping ground bathed in the moonlight of 1874, back stage at a drag show and even a hip sushi bar.

Made up of 370 extraordinary museum objects usually held behind closed doors, Inside Out is a love song to Museums Victoria’s collection of more than 17 million items. Visitors will be led on this adventure by a kooky and surprising audio guide.

Riffing on themes of love, time and immortality, a playful narrator takes visitors through the offbeat spaces, along the way introducing museum and non-museum experts who share unexpected and passionate stories about the museum’s most unusual collection items.

Almost half of the items have never been on display before including, the first Black Box flight recorder prototype, the beautiful H.L. White collection of Australian bird’s eggs, and a new taxidermy of a lioness. These objects will join popular favourites such as internet meme sensation, Sad Otter.

Throughout the otherworldly experience, visitors will hear personal stories from both museum experts and community members who share a special bond with the items, including a senior curator (Kimberley Moulton), tattoo artist (Clare Hampshire), bartender (Fred Siggins), fashion designer (Prue Acton), drag queen (Dorreen Manganini), preparator (Dean Smith), granddaughter (Judy Potter), Egyptologist (Colin Hope), astronomer (Dr. Tanya Hill), engineering curator (Matilda Vaughan) and a futurist (Maddee Clark).

A disco soundtrack has been specially commissioned from Vachel Spirason and Matthew Hadley of Total Giovanni, the Melbourne-based five-piece who are poised to perform at Falls Festival just days after Inside Out opens.

Zoe Meagher, Experience Developer, Museums Victoria said that the exhibition provides a smorgasbord of objects with show-stopping pieces sitting alongside the less conspicuous. “Inside Out enables visitors to meet not only extraordinary, beautiful and significant collection items, but also be drawn into the fascinating stories behind quieter items that might not otherwise catch the eye.

“Bring an open heart, bring a pair of headphones, a curious friend and press play!”

Lynley Marshall, CEO, Museums Victoria said Inside Out completely reimagines the way Museums Victoria presents its collection: “Museums Victoria is custodian of the vast and wondrous State collection of more than 17 million items, and Inside Out celebrates it in a completely new and wonderful way. The exhibition will be an experience quite unlike anything we’ve done, bringing objects together in unexpected ways that spark imaginations and make visitors think twice.”

Join us for a drink in the courtyard near Inside Out, which is being transformed into the Chandon S Nature Bar. Opening daily from 2-5pm with extended hours on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 January, the space will bring the hand-crafted story of Chandon S to life with natural design and styling elements.

Inside Out is on at Melbourne Museum from 23 December, 2017 – 11 February, 2018.
Tickets $10 | Open: 10-5pm daily | Open late: Thursdays and Fridays from 4 January and for Nocturnal on 5 January and 2 February. Visit the website for more details.

Further information:
Press images available:

For information, interviews and images please contact:

Join the mailing list and get the latest from our Museums direct to your inbox.

Share your thoughts to WIN

We'd love to hear about your experience with our website. Our survey takes less than 10 minutes and entries go in a draw to win a $100 gift voucher at our online store!