Image: Curator Anna Briers playing organ. Photo: Simon Woods 

Uniquely, the architecture of the UQ Art Museum features a grand pipe organ; a towering presence on the western wall of its exhibition spaces. The organ is a reminder of the history of the James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre, which was originally a concert hall – a place for orchestral concerts, graduation ceremonies and exams – before being repurposed and reopening in 2004 as the new home of the University's Art Museum.  

In the 1970s, an organ recital tradition evolved, with renowned organist Dr Robert Boughen performing the complete works of baroque composers Buxtehude and Bach. These were key events in Brisbane’s musical calendar. 

The organ also featured in many of UQ’s School of Music concerts and was a teaching instrument for a thriving cohort of organ students. 

At two storeys high and consisting of 3,283 pipes, the organ has an extraordinary sound that has not been heard widely for many years.  

However, it has recently undergone extensive, specialist restoration that has returned the instrument to its full acoustic potential. The restoration was philanthropically supported via a generous donation, and we are deeply grateful for the ongoing support.   

Learn more about this incredible instrument and its history.

Support the organ commissioning program and help us bring it to life through commissions and performances. 

Together with the School of Music, the Art Museum is developing an exciting series of events and commissions to bring the organ to life. Please subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on social media to be notified when the programming is announced.  

The organ is also available as part of venue hire packages. Please contact our Venue Hire staff for more information. 

Cover image: The organ at the UQ Art Museum during Mel O'Callaghan: Centre of the CentreFebruary 2020. Photo: UQ Art Musuem.