2013 TALES OF CHRISTMAS TREASURES | Christmas at The Johnston Collection

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Thursday 7 November 2013 – Wednesday 26 February 2014

From 7 November, The Johnston Collection will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland with the new exhibition TALES OF CHRISTMAS TREASURES: Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2013.

Christmas is always a special time at Fairhall, a house-museum of fine and decorative arts in East Melbourne. Each year since 2002, The Collection has presented an annual Christmas tour in which artists and craftspeople from different regions of Victoria have created pieces inspired by the Collection. The result is then displayed in Fairhall, against the backdrop of William Johnston’s extraordinary collection.

This year over 200 artists and craftspeople from the Mornington Peninsula region have created exquisite pieces for what will be a spectacular show celebrating the wonderful richness and traditions of Christmas. They have been working on their pieces for over eighteen months.

Participants include The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria (Mornington Peninsula and Flinders Country Group), Australasian Porcelain Art Teachers (VIC), The Bead Society of Victoria, The Bond Family, Cake Decorators Association of Victoria (Frankston), Decoupage Guild of Australia Inc (Frankston), Embroidery Essentials, Felicity Northeast Millinery, The Peninsula Artisans, Mornington Peninsula Patchworkers Inc., and Point Nepean Patchworkers & Quilters along with many other groups and independent artists from the region.

One of the groups participating in Tales of Christmas Treasures is the Bond family – made up of Maureen Bond and her four daughters, Catherine, Glenda, Jen and Marissa. When they were growing up, Maureen nurtured a sense of practical resourcefulness in her daughters – a belief in ‘making something out of nothing.’

This tradition was born of necessity and had been handed down to Maureen from her own mother. The Bond family have continued to improvise and develop a wide variety of skills over the years, in textiles, timber, painted design, porcelain and glass. One of the Bond family items on display in Tales of Christmas Treasures is a pair of silk slippers, hand-stitched featuring a delicately embroidered rose. This motif was copied from the Minton tea cup (circa 1811) that inspired William Johnston on his path of collecting.

For the first time the Bead Society of Victoria will also be participating in this Christmas show. Founded in 1994 by a small number of enthusiasts, the Bead Society has grown into a large group of people passionate about this ancient craft. For Tales of Christmas Treasures, the Bead Society have created a series of jewel-like decorations using many thousands of beads, all meticulously stitched by hand.

The Johnston Collection is a house-museum with an amazing collection of Regency, Georgian and Louis XV antiques arranged within a domestic setting. There are three guided tours daily Monday to Friday. William Johnston (1911 – 1986) was a prominent 20th century antique dealer and collector who bequeathed his former residence, Fairhall, and collection to the people of Victoria.

Contact: Felicity Cook or Fil Natarelli
T: 03 9416 2515 E:

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