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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Rural Museums Step into the Spotlight at Maitland Regional Art Gallery

A unique exhibition highlighting the essence and personality of small museums across rural Australia has opened at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.


Small Museum by artist Simone Rosenbauer captures the character of 41 small museums and their dedicated caretakers through a compelling blend of photographs and interviews. The highly praised exhibition has been awarded the 2024 Dobell Exhibition Grant.

‘Every community across Australia has a story to tell,’ Gallery Director Gerry Bobsien says.

‘Often, the most curious and interesting stories come to life in tiny museums and collections usually developed and treasured by committed volunteers.

‘Simone Rosenbauer has travelled extensively across the country to capture and honour the small museums that collect everything from archives to golf clubs to toys, shells and garments,’ Ms Bobsien says.

Small Museum goes beyond traditional exhibitions by incorporating an element of audience participation. Visitors are invited to ‘curate’ their own historical collections using objects discovered by Ms Rosenbauer.

‘I’m filled with gratitude and honour that the Small Museum project received the esteemed Dobell Exhibition Grant,’ says Ms Rosenbauer. ‘I’m eager to share it with the broader community.’ In extension to Small Museum, the gallery is hosting diverse works from artists Kara Wood, Billy Bain and Rosie Deacon, who took inspiration from items in Maitland’s local collections, including Morpeth Museum, Mortels Sheepskin Factory Museum and Maitland Gaol.

A range of programs including youth focused workshops, arts and health initiatives and digital video engagement tools will accompany the Small Museum exhibition.

Small Museum is on display now until 30 June 2024 at Maitland Regional Art Gallery. For more information about this or other upcoming exhibitions and programs, or to become a member, visit



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