Past exhibitions


Islands: hidden histories from Queensland islands

Characterised by sun, surf and sand, Queensland islands are popularly seen as paradises and playgrounds. But due to their geographic isolation, life on the islands can be far from idyllic.


Lifestyle: a sunshine state of mind

Lifestyle: a sunshine state of mind takes the concept of lifestyle and the context of Queensland and draws them together to present an interactive, participatory exhibition


Australian South Sea Islanders

Today’s Australian South Sea Islanders have a special place in Queensland’s cultural diversity and history.  They are the descendants of South Sea Islanders brought to Queensland from 1863 to 1904 from 80 Melanesian islands to work the State’s cotton and sugar plantations.


Our sporting greats: Murri and Ailan athletes in the spotlight

Some of Queensland’s unsung Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heroes from the sporting world are celebrated in an inspiring showcase of images, memorabilia and digital stories at State Library of Queensland (SLQ).


Bright Bold Boundless: designing the Queen's baton

Passed from hand-to-hand in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton is the symbolic heart of the ‘Friendly Games’– a tangible symbol that has undergone a fascinating design evolution in its many guises over 60 years.


Magnificent makers

Magnificent Makers tells seven stories of canny creations, daring discoveries and imaginative inventions that trace a path through Queensland’s history since the late nineteenth century. 


Jabu Birriny (land + sea)

Jabu Birriny, meaning ‘land’ and ‘sea’, celebrates the unique environment of Yarrabah and its ongoing importance to culture and people.


Freedom then freedom now

Freedom takes many forms. Some countries cannot guarantee freedom from hunger, while arbitrary detention, religious and racial discrimination are practised throughout the world, sometimes even mandated by governments.


State of emergency

Join the State Library of Queensland in marking the 30th anniversary of the 1982 Commonwealth Games when Brisbane came alive with political demonstrations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander civil liberties.


Art of the skins

Awakening South East Queensland historical traditions through contemporary art, Art of the Skins revitalised the practice of possum skin cloak making.


Grass dukes and shepherd kings

19th century pastoral life on the Darling Downs comes alive in this intimate exhibition of treasures at SLQ.


Siganto Foundation Artists' Book Project

This showcase celebrates the beauty of those creations and research The Siganto Foundation support has enabled.


Hornibrook: building bridges connects Brisbane

A decade of building major bridge infrastructure projects in Brisbane cemented Sir Manuel Richard Hornibrook (often known as ‘MR’) as a pioneering Queenslander into the history of the state. 


Our Dreaming

Our Dreaming: animating country – connecting people to place through animation and storytelling. 


Transforming Tindale

Transforming Tindale is a thought-provoking journey into the Tindale collection, what it means to Aboriginal people and its place in Queensland’s history.

he last Christmas card sent by the Johnstones at the closure of the Gallery in 1972

Johnstone Gallery Archive

The Johnstone Gallery was a commercial art gallery that operated in Brisbane from 1950 to 1972 during a seminal time in the development of an audience for contemporary art in Australia.

Visitors view the Don't Just Count Us, Let Us Count exhibition for the first time

Don't Just Count Us, Let Us Count!

Don’t Just Count Us, Let Us Count! tells the story of this historic milestone through the eyes of ACPA alumni as they reflect on the creative process, research and the performance which shaped who they are today and their understanding of the campaign to be counted.

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, May 3, 1928

Discover the Queenslander

The Queenslander was the weekly summary and literary edition of the Brisbane Courier (now The Courier-Mail) and was published from 1866 – 1939. This showcase features nearly 1000 coloured covers and illustrated pages from The Queenslander newspaper which can be explored by year, topic and colour.