If you really want to see some of the those old prints in good light, go to a commercial gallery that specializes in them. For instance Andrew Smith Gallery in Santa Fe shows Adams, Weston, and far older stuff in very decent lighting.
As far as I know there really isn't a market in Australia for this type of gallery. You might be able to see some Australian photographers in places like the Josef Lebovic Gallery but I haven't seen overseas photographers represented. This is why I mentioned the MOCA exhibition in the coffee corner.
I remember seeing some very good photography in New York when I was there 30 years ago including a Cartier-Bresson retrospective – all with good lighting. Unfortunately it is unlikely I will be back there any time soon. Taking a trip to China may be a higher priority.
It seems that this trend to archival lighting is a recent thing. They had a Leonardo Da Vinci drawings exhibition at the AGNSW and you nearly needed night goggles to see the works.
Let there be light!