Occupying its waterfront site at Sullivans Cove since 1863, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) showcases the state's natural and cultural heritage traversing art, history and science. Incorporating unique heritage buildings, including Tasmania's oldest building, the Commissariat built in 1808, the newly reopened and revitalised space offers an intriguing mix of art and artifacts.
Entry to the three-storey museum is via the historic Watergate wall to the three-level Bond Store Galleries. The ground floor exhibition, 'Our living land: Encountering an upside down world' is about the first impressions of Europeans and the use of Tasmania's natural resources for wealth creation. On level one, 'Our changing land: Creating Tasmania' examines the making of Tasmania from the 1800s to 1901, while on level two, 'Our land: Parrawa!parrawa! Go away' showcases the story of Aboriginal people and colonists focusing on the Black War. Starting on level one, the two-storey Argyle Galleries houses temporary art exhibitions on the first floor and on level two are two rooms: 'Medals and Money' with more than 350 medals and coins on display, and 'Islands to Ice' about the mystifying environment of Antarctica.
The two-level Henry Hunter Galleries begin on level one and encompass the Central Gallery with artifacts from Tasmania and around the world displayed under a spectacular lantern roof. Level one also contains a room dedicated to the Thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, Ningina Tunapri - the newly refreshed Tasmanian Aboriginal Gallery, and the 'Earth and Life' exhibit of unusual plants and animals and unique geology. Level two is devoted to art and design from 1800s to present day including 'Modern Age' - Modernism and the Australian crafts revival of '60s and '70s, 'Dispossessions and Possessions' - colonial arts and crafts, and the Progress and Politics room of contemporary art.
Entry to TMAG is free and the institution also runs free 40-minute tours from Wednesday to Sunday at 11am, 1pm and 2pm for more insight into the space's treasures and history. To visit from central Hobart, enter via the landscaped boulevard that connects Davey and Macquarie Streets.