A major exhibition this summer is to showcase the Melbourne Museum’s collections like never before and signal a new direction for Australia’s largest museum organisation on 23 December.

The collection unveils Museum Inside Out, a ‘mashup’ of more than 17 million items, bringing together some of the museum’s oldest, most curious or beloved treasures into playful and immersive displays.

The project has brought together a creative team of scientists, researchers and curators who will see thousand year old specimens placed alongside contemporary items in highly theatrical backdrops that will be a feast for the senses.

“The Museum Inside Out exhibition spells a new era for Australia’s most popular museum, and an exciting new direction for Museums Victoria that reflects Victoria’s reputation as the creative state,” Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos said, congratulating the Museums Victoria team for “unleashing its creativity with a bumper program of exhibitions, new experiences and plenty of surprises up ahead”.

Photo: AAP via AP Image/David Mariuz

According to Mrs Mikakos, the exhibition will herald a significant new era for Museums Victoria, the organisation that oversees Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, the Immigration Museum, IMAX Melbourne and the Royal Exhibition Building.

The Minister also unveiled Museums Victoria’s 2017-18 program, which shows how the 163-year-old organisation is reimagining the role museums will play in the 21st century and beyond. More than 40 exhibitions will cover everything from fashion and design to migration to technology, innovation and the wonders of science, alongside storeroom tours and regular late night music, screenings and soirées across all sites.

Meanwhile, in March, Melbourne Museum will present Vikings, a major international exhibition that will bring together the largest collection of Viking artefacts ever displayed in Australia, and in June visitors will have the opportunity to design and virtually fly their own experimental aircraft in an interactive exhibition called Above and Beyond.

Two new permanent exhibitions will also open at Scienceworks, one designed for babies and pre-schoolers and the other for teenagers and young adults.

For more information visit museumsvictoria.com.au