MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


The playful museum entrance – behind which is an interior spiral staircase that leads down to three larger underground levels of display spaces with no windows, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


On our last evening on this trip to Tasmania and Australia, we joined a small group for a privately guided visit to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) followed by a delicious dinner in the museum’s restaurant and terraces. We arrived at the museum on the peninsula after a 45-minute “ferry ride” on a private catamaran up the Derwent River from Hobart to the museum’s jetty. “The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is an art museum located within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. The museum presents antiquities and modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh collection. Walsh has described the museum as a ‘subversive adult Disneyland.’ MONA was officially opened on 21 January 2011. Along with its frequently updated indoor collection, MONA also hosts the annual MOFO and Dark Mofo festivals which showcase large-scale public art and live performances.” – Wikipedia. This is a museum unlike any other in the world – easily described as an eccentric super-wealthy gambler’s tribute to himself and his explorations of “who he is” and “what is art”. Many visitors are shocked with the erotic and sexual nature of much of the art [which we have chosen not to include in our photographs on this blog post], and surprised to find such an eclectic mix of historical and classical art (from around the world) with many “challenging” modern art pieces.



The setting for the museum on the Berriedale peninsula along the Derwent River, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


“Mona is one man’s ‘megaphone’ as he put it at the outset: and what he wants to say almost invariably revolves around the place of art and creativity within the definition of humanity. We know that sounds lofty, self-important. But we must be honest with you: our goal is no more, nor less, than to ask what art is, and what makes us look and look at it with ceaseless curiosity. We don’t have the answer yet. Maybe when we do, that will be the end of Mona. Bye bye Mona…

“Mona’s ambition (with only modest success, given that most people just want to take pictures of bit.fall) is to understand how narrow, how partial, our view is of the world. To see clearly, we argue, you have to first know the limits of your vision. To quote Socrates: ‘The smartest people know how dumb they are.’ Okay, what he really said was: ‘I know one thing: that I know nothing.’” –



A wall on the lowest (third) level of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, that shows how the museum was carved out of the rock on the peninsula under the Moorilla winery


“[It] begins as soon as you get there. If you arrive by jetty you come up those stairs thinking you’ll get somewhere momentous, but then you get to the top and turn around and there’s just this small house. Then you go in, and go down a heap more stairs. A big space. ‘Wow, I didn’t know it was going to be so big.’ Still no art.” — James Pearce, Director of Architecture, MONA



This exhibition room could be in a traditional art museum anywhere in the world; it is in stark contrast with some other rooms that are quite provocative; MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



Highly decorated silver sculptures atop two of twelve “sardine cans” that all contain sculpted silver female genitalia, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



A kinetic sculpture that the visitor enters and then moves his/her arms and dances to “conduct” music and a light show on the perimeter of the exhibit (a docent is demonstrating movement within the sculpture), MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



Glass panels and a mirror (second from the left “panel”) that are a fraction of the floral art in an exhibition room that measured perhaps 25 feet by 20 feet (7.6 by 6.1 meters), MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



An ancient clay sculpture, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



Figure of a Girl Bathing, Pierre Auguste Renoir (late 1800s), MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



Mount Fuji (one of 36 woodblock print views), Ando Hiroshige, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



Fat Car, 2006 Erwin Wurm, MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



A view from above of the bar on the lower level at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, where we had cocktails and/or wine after our tour of the museum, before going up and out to the museum’s restaurant (in a separate, above ground building with terraces overlooking the river) for dinner


Interested readers should check out the museum’s website:

to explore some of the architecture, the collection and the biography of founder and chief curator David Walsh.



The rising full moon provided a fitting end to a wonderful afternoon and evening at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, on our last night in Tasmania and Australia after seven weeks of explorations


2 thoughts on “MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s