During the last three decades Australia has witnessed an unprecedented development in the visual arts. Art museums have both responded to and been agents of change in this period through their collections, exhibitions and public programs. Their role in contemporary art, including Indigenous art, has been especially significant. Australian art museums have also contributed to Australian artists being represented in exhibitions and collections throughout the world. The papers in this section provide an overview of Australian art museums and the role of ‘blockbuster’ exhibitions from overseas.