Back to Black Exhibition

Explore the different meanings of black across a century of fashion, from mourning a loved one, to the chic elegance of the little black dress, at Old Government House's new major exhibition Back to Black.

Wearing black is laden with cultural meaning, from suggesting chic elegance to mourning a loved one. This exhibition explores black’s different meanings in the past, while offering visitors the opportunity to reflect on their own relationship to wearing black in the present.

Historically most often associated with mourning, black was also a special-occasion selection for formal wear, receiving visitors, or for going out on the town. Black clothing has also been adopted to express authority or to subvert and challenge it. The careful choice of colour in dress can make statements about class and gender, power and privilege, group affiliations and particularly subcultures, or be used to signal emotion.

Back to Black is collaboratively curated by fashion historian Dr Lorinda Cramer, NIDA costume alumna Lucy Francis, and the National Trust’s curator of Parramatta properties Anna Ridley. Come and join us in exploring black’s sartorial richness.

Event dates

Event Details

Parramatta Park, Pitt Street Entrance, Parramatta NSW 2150

Thursday and Friday 10am - 4pm, last entry 3:30pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am - 4pm, last entry 3:30pm
(Closed ANZAC Day)

Entry fees:
Adults $ 15, Concession $ 12, Family $ 42
Onsite facilities: