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A sepia toned image of the original Shrine of Remembrance design

Designing Remembrance

Alternate visions for Victoria's war memorial

14 August 2024 - August 2025

Step back into history and witness a lively debate of the 1920s come to life. Our latest exhibition commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Shrine of Remembrance, offering a nostalgic experience that, for the first time, delves into the forgotten designs for Victoria's War Memorial.

Explore the entries of the 1921 War Memorial design competition, each a testament to the social and political tapestry of that time. From grand monuments to humble sanctuaries, you'll discover the different visions that once competed for a place in the heart of Victoria. Reflect on the questions that challenged Victorians of yesteryear: should a memorial honour the past or herald the future? Should it be grandiose or modest, solemn or hopeful? Decide for yourself whether the Shrine of Remembrance was the best choice for the National War Memorial of Victoria.

Offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the past, visitors can examine detailed plans, conceptual drawings and correspondence, and eavesdrop on conversations between designers and builders from the 1920s, gaining insight into the creative process behind the Shrine's inception.

As we celebrate the Shrine's 90th anniversary, this exhibition serves as a poignant reflection on the roads not taken. Join us in rediscovering the untold stories behind the designs that paved the way for the enduring legacy of the Shrine of Remembrance.