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Melbourne's major cultural institutions reflect the yearnings and myths of an antipodean city which has sought to see itself as a capital of the world and nation. Established as harbingers of civilisation and a bulwark against the mob, these institutions' century and a half of existence chart the ebb and flow of institutional power and knowledge in the city and state.

The creative imagining of Melbourne began when John Batman sailed up the Yarra River on 8 June 1835 and wrote in his journal 'This will be the place for a village'. Since its foundation, Melbourne has also vied with Sydney as Australia's leading art city. Melbourne's first theatre was a ramshackle timber structure adjacent to the Eagle Tavern, a Bourke Street pub. The Royal Victoria Theatre, otherwise known as the Pavilion, the Theatre Royal and the Victoria Saloon, opened in February 1842, with a series of 'amateur' performances led by the professional actor George Buckingham. The Colonial Secretary in Sydney would not license a professional company until July 1842. Music-making began immediately the colony was established, but the formation and development of a classical music culture was assisted greatly by the discovery of gold.

See also

Adam Lindsay Gordon Memorial
Alexandra Club
Alliance Fran├žaise
Angry Penguins
Antipodes Festival
Apollo Belvedere
Architectural Fragment
Art Education
Art Galleries
Art Magazines and Publishing
Art Societies and Clubs
Artists' Camps and Sketching Grounds
Athenaeum Club
Australia Today And Tomorrow
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Australian Nouveau Theatre
Australian Performing Group
Beyond The Ocean Of Existence
Bijou Theatre
Bird Panels
Boer War Monument
Bohemians Club
Book Publishing
Bourke Street (Tom Roberts)
Boy And Pelican
Boy And Urn
Boy On A Turtle
Bread and Cheese Club
Burke and Wills Cairn
Cannibal Club
Capitol Theatre
Captain Cook Statue
Captain Matthew Flinders Statue
Celtic Club
Ceremony and Vehicle for Conveying Spirit
Chamber Made Opera
Children's Pond And Waterfall
Circus Oz
City Living Sculpture
Classical Music
Clayton Reserve Drinking Fountain
Coat Of Arms
Coles Fountain
Collins St., 5p.m.
Conservatory Fountain (aka Boy With Serpent, and Ornamental Fountain)
Councillor William Cook Memorial Drinking Fountain
The Court Favorite
Cremorne Gardens
Cultural Institutions
Dairy Hall Window
Dante Alighieri
Diana And The Hounds
Dinny O'Hearn Fountain
Dolphin Fountain
Domed Drinking Fountain
Dr Louis Smith Bust
Duke & Duchess Of York Memorial (aka Temperance)
The Echo
Edmund Fitzgibbon Memorial
Edward George Honey Memorial
Elliot Drinking Fountain
Emerald Hill Theatre
Ethnic Music
Exhibition Fountain (aka Hochgurtel Fountain)
Experimental Music
Fairies' Tree
Farnex Hercules
Festival Hall
Folk Music
French Fountain
Garrick Club
General Charles Gordon Memorial
The Genie
George Hawkins Ievers Memorial Drinking Fountain
Georges Fountain
Grainger Museum
Grant's Fountain
Grey Street Fountain
Handspan Theatre
Haymarket Theatre
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Heidelberg School
Her Majesty's Theatre
A History Apparatus - Vessel, Craft And Beacon
Horse Hitching Post
Hotham Hill Pavement Inlay
Hotham Hill Seat
Images of the City
Images of the Suburbs
Ishmael Club
Island Wave
James C. Roberts Memorial
Janet Lady Clarke Memorial
Jewish Museum of Australia
John Batman Memorial
John Batman Memorial
John F. Kennedy Memorial
John Pascoe Fawkner Memorial
King Edward VII Memorial
King George V Memorial
La Mama Theatre
Lake Waterfall
Language Demography and Use
Larry La Trobe
Libraries and Archives
Lie Of The Land
Literary Criticism
Living Museum of the West
Lyceum Club
Macpherson Robertson Fountain
Malthouse Theatre
Man With The Donkey (aka Private John Simpson and his Little Donkey)
Marquis Of Linlithgow Statue
Mary Gilbert Memorial
Medical History Museum
Melba Conservatorium of Music
Melbourne Athenaeum
Melbourne Club
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Melbourne Fringe Festival
Melbourne International Arts Festival
Melbourne International Film Festival
Melbourne Repertory Theatre Company
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Melbourne Theatre Company
Melbourne University Publishing
Mermaid And Fish
Miraggio (aka Seated Figure)
Model Tudor Village
Mushroom Records
National Gallery of Victoria
National Trust of Australia (Victoria)
Naval and Military Club
North Melbourne Drinking Fountain (Aka Henderson Drinking Fountain, And Hotham Ornamental Fountain)
Nurse Edith Cavell Memorial
Opera House
Painted Poles (City Square)
Painted Poles (State Library Of Victoria)
Palais Theatre
The Pathfinder (aka The Hammer Thrower)
Pavement Tiles
People's Path
Performing Arts Collection
Personal Islands
Peter Pan
The Phoenix
Pioneer Monument
Pioneer Women's Memorial
Polly Woodside
Port Phillip Club
Port Phillip Monument
Post Master Gallery
Pram Factory
Princes Court
Princess Theatre
The Public Purse
Public Record Office Victoria
Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Memorial
R.J. & F.G.J. Hardy Memorial Drinking Fountain
Railway Viewing Platform
Resting Place
Reynold's Reserve Drinking Fountain
River God Fountain (aka Old Man Fountain, and Neptune)
Roar Studios
Robert Burns Memorial
Rock Music
Royal Historical Society of Victoria
Samuel Mauger Drinking Fountain
Separation Memorial
Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop statue
Sir John Monash Statue
Sir Thomas Blamey Memorial
Sir William Brunton Drinking Fountain
Sir William John Clarke Statue
South African War Memorial (aka Memorial To Fallen Soldiers, and Monument To The 5th Victorian Contingent)
St Kilda Film Festival
Stanford Fountain
Stapley Memorial Drinking Fountain
State Library of Victoria
Statue Of Meditation
Sun Theatre
Sunbury Pop Festival
Tarrawarra Museum of Art
Temple Of The Winds
Theatre Restaurants
Theatre Royal
Thomas Ferguson Memorial Drinking Fountain
Three Businessmen Who Brought Their Own Lunch: Batman, Swanston And Hoddle
Tilly Aston Bell
Time And Tide
Tivoli Theatre
Union Club
Universal Theatre
University of Melbourne Archives
Vault (aka Yellow Peril)
Victoria Club
Victorian Club
Victorian College of the Arts
Visual Arts
Walker Fountain
Water Children
The Water Nymph
Westgarth Drinking Fountain
William Ievers Jnr Memorial Drinking Fountain
William Ievers Snr Memorial Drinking Fountain
Wind Contrivance
Within Three Worlds
Writers' Festivals and Literary Awards
Yorick Club
Zoo Paving