MAG&M Collection Stories - one picture, a thousand words

Explore a selection of works from across MAG&M’s five collection areas, as they weave stories related to Australian beach culture, fashion, sport, art and history.

1940s beach culture through a contemporary lens

Anne Zahalka addresses the ways in which the democratic nature of the beach can both unify and highlight cultural and...


All aboard! Manly ferries in the 1930-60s

We take you back with memories of the Manly ferries between the 1930s - 1960s.

Toy wooden ferry

Duke Kahanamoku and the early development of surfing in Australia

Discover the impact of Duke Kahanamoku, the celebrated Hawaiian swimmer and surfer, when he visited the Northern Beaches in 1914-15.

Frank Bell photograph

Itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini!

The bikini - an invention of fabric rationing necessity in the 1940s.

Guan Wei painting of woman on beach

Manly in the 1910s

Spence’s 1910 watercolour marks a historically significant moment, as one of the first artworks to show women as lifesavers.


Surf-o-Planes from the 1930s and 50s

Read about the popular Sydney invention that helped swimmers ride the waves.


Surfing the waves back to the 1940s, 50s and 60s

Discover more about the development of surfboards in Australia.


Taking you back to early surf lifesaving in Manly

Bruce Gould, Chuck Bradley & Frank Hurley celebrate this iconic part of the Australian beach culture.


The Manly swim scene of the 1930s

Harold Cazneaux, Frank Bell and various postcards from the MAG&M collection capture the spirit of our connection with the water...

P0700 - Frank Bell, Members of Manly Swim Club, 1900 - 1922, BW print, 20 X 25, purchased from Stephen Lees as part of set in 1983