Western Australia Maritime Museum, Fremantle, Western Australia © Cultural Attractions of Australia
8 of Perth's best museums, galleries and theatres
From murals to maritime history, Perth has an art and culture scene you won’t want to miss.
By Leah Dobihal
In recent years, Perth’s art and culture scene has flourished. Jaw-dropping street art is splashed across the city, art galleries have taken hold in underrated neighbourhoods and the city’s maritime and convict history is displayed in beautiful museums.
Here are some of Perth’s must-visit art galleries and museums.
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Where: City Centre
Home to the iconic State Art Collection, the Art Gallery of Western Australia has the state’s most extensive exhibitions of visual art. The museum’s collection holds more than 18,000 works created from the 1800s to today. Discover riveting Aboriginal art, twentieth-century sculptures and an ever-evolving showcase of contemporary paintings.
Perth Theatre Trust
Where: Several locations
The Perth Theatre Trust operates a number of venues at the epicentre of culture in Perth. Each theatre has its own personality and community, from the Baroque-style His Majesty’s Theatre to the modern glamour of the State Theatre Centre. Catch a comedy show, dance performance or even a circus act at venues across the city – there’s always something exciting to see.
PS Art Space
Located in a stunning heritage-listed building, PS Art Space is an experimental gallery and independent artist studio. Explore 36 diverse spaces showcasing contemporary art that’s sure to excite and intrigue. Exhibitions are curated regularly, so this is a gallery you’ll want to visit again and again.
WA Museum Boola Bardip
Did you know?
WA Museum Boola Bardip is home to a blue whale skeleton, which took more than three years to prepare for transport to the museum. It's one of the state's most beloved treasures.
The name ‘Boola Bardip’ means ‘many stories’ in the local Whadjuk Nyoongar language, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at the WA Museum. The museum is centred around the stories of Western Australia, from the diverse wildlife to the Dreamtime stories of local Aboriginal peoples. With several permanent exhibitions to explore, you’re sure to leave with newfound knowledge and appreciation of the beauty of Australia’s western state.
Western Australia Maritime Museum
As a coastal city, Perth has an iconic maritime past, centred around the historic suburb of Fremantle. The Western Australian Maritime Museum is dedicated to Western Australia’s unique relationship to the sea – a relationship that continues today. Wander through displays of handcrafted sailing boats, explore huge vessels and drop down into a retired submarine.
Japingka Aboriginal Art
No artistic exploration of Perth would be complete without a trip to an Aboriginal art gallery. Japingka Aboriginal Art is the perfect place to start, showcasing 12 exhibitions annually from exciting Indigenous artists both emerging and established. Browse intricate paintings and woven baskets, and perhaps make a purchase to bring home with you. All works in Japingka are ethically sourced.
Perth Institute of Contemporary Art
Considered unmissable for art-lovers, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) is where you’ll find art that excites, innovates, experiments and stimulates. You could spend the entire day here, with visual art, performance, dance and interdisciplinary art on offer. Plus, with PICABAR on ground level, you can stop for a drink after you’ve had your fill of art.
Where: Perth and surrounds
In Perth, art is all around you – as you pass by cafés, wander down laneways and explore trendy neighbourhoods. The city’s street art scene is diverse, featuring murals, landscapes and Insta-worthy backdrops. The outdoor art doesn’t end in the city, either. The PUBLIC Silo Art Trail is Western Australia’s most unexpected gallery, with massive paintings appearing on farming silos around the state.