image A

The Johnston Collection

Year in Review

2016 - 17

12 months of extraordinary art and experiences

SEE OUR STORIES
Back To Report
image B

It was William Johnston’s intention that Fairhall be regularly rearranged and since it was first opened to the public in 1990, a regular program of re-installation and interventions of the permanent collection was established with creative individuals with a background in architecture, design, art, interiors, fashion and antiques, invited to rearrange (or ‘guest curate’) The Johnston Collection. From this three distinct annual exhibition series have emerged.

HOUSE OF IDEAS PROJECT SERIES

In this series, guest curators use Fairhall as a site-specific installation space to reconceptualise the Collection, often incorporating their own work, or loan items, in their reconstruction of the exhibition-house.

The House of Ideas series offers a radical interpretation of the Collection with the aim of generating new, diverse audiences.

CHRISTMAS AT THE JOHNSTON COLLECTION

Each year since 2004 The Johnston Collection has commissioned makers from a different region of Victoria to create new works inspired by aspects of the Collection, or relating to the life of William Johnston, or by Christmas itself. This exhibition promotes the work of regional makers to a large state-wide audience as well as promoting contemporary responses to the Collection by encouraging makers to explore new contemporary practices and ideas. Christmas at The Johnston Collection offers an ‘inspired’ interpretation of the Collection.

WILLIAM JOHNSTON AND HIS COLLECTION

In this series individuals from the wider community are invited to rearrange Fairhall , generally using only the items in the Collection. William Johnston and his Collection series offers a ‘traditional’ interpretation of the Collection.

SEE MORE
image C

House of Dreams project series 2016

HOUSE OF DREAMS | Barking Spider Visual Theatre (12 July 2016 - 20 September 2016

Inspired by Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung’s dream theories, House of Dreams, used the metaphors and symbols of dreams to convey stories exploring the history of benefactor William Johnston and his residence, Fairhall.

‘My dreams are always so vivid – with every sense engaged – and very often include houses. I had read about the significance of the house in Jung’s dream theories. This seemed a natural fit. What better way to explore the unconscious, the uncanny, the strangeness of “the night mind”, than through the lens of a glorious collection of historic objects in an elegant old Melbourne house.”

Penelope Bartlau
Director, Barking Spider Visual Theatre

Congratulations to [The Johnston Collection] & to the Barking Spider Visual Theatre for taking a risk & putting on one of the best displays yet, well done!

Mark Simpson YouTube 30 September 2016

SEE MORE
image D

Return to the City

Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2016-17 (3 October 2016 – 31 January 2017)

A modern twist on TJC’s traditional annual Christmas exhibition, ‘Return To The City’, featured new work commissioned from some of Melbourne’s best contemporary makers with works inspired by aspects of the Collection and William Johnston’s life.

With artists collectives Hotham Street Ladies, The GLAD Rappers and The Melbourne Tapestry Weavers Collective and individual artists Anne Bolitho, Lewis Brownlie, ChiliPhilly, Amanda Dziedzic, Sai-Wai Foo, Irianna Kanellopoulou, Abbey Rich, Robyn Rich, Sharron Okines, Louise Saxton and Ellen Sorensen.

Thanks for asking me to be a part of it all again. It is such a special place and so inspiring.

Robyn Rich Artist, ‘Return To The City’

SEE MORE
image E

William Johnston and his Collection series

BEING MODERN | William Johnston: His Residence & Collection (13 February 2017 – 30 May 2017)

A restaging of the first exhibition held at The Johnston Collection in 1990, Being Modern | William Johnston: His Residence & Collection presented Fairhall recreated as an English Georgian-inspired domestic interior celebrating the designers and interior style of the Georgian era.

Being Modern’ provided an opportunity to re-present an important historical exhibition to our visitors again. At the same time it was interesting to celebrate the artistic achievements of the English Georgian and Regency, the core period represented in our Collection, and to explore the objects, makers and patrons of a period that has been so influential on the way we live today. The rooms in Fairhall sum up the ideal vision of the 18th century English interiors showing grace and luxury, colouring and light; the same qualities that we still look for in our interiors today.

Louis Le Vaillant Director | Curator

SEE MORE
_T4A2478

House of Ideas project series 2017

ANIMAL KINGDOM (13 June– 19 September 2017)

Animal Kingdom featured exquisite animal-inspired objects from The Johnston collection juxtaposed with fantastical works by some of Melbourne’s best contemporary makers including Kate Rohde, Troy Emery, Julia deVille, Vipoo Srivilasa, Alison Cole, Lesley Uren, and Yvonne Walton, exploring the ways in which animals and people relate in various art forms over time..

Omgoodness how brilliant!

The_lazybadger Instagram 14 June 2017

SEE MORE
image G

SPECIAL MENU TOURS 2017

In addition to the three main exhibition-house tours each year, special menu tours are presented focusing on a particular area of the Collection which enables visitors to see aspects of items in the Collection that are often hidden or go unnoticed during other Fairhall tours.

UNLOCKING THE COLLECTION

Working in pairs, volunteer guides unlocked cupboards, pulled out secret drawers and lifted the lids and covers of objects, revealing the often intricate and embellished interiors of pieces in the Collection.

Unlocking The Collection tours were presented on 27 February 2017, 30 March 2017. 10 April 2017, and 18 May 2017

SEE MORE
image H

BLOOM

This special tour explored the social and cultural histories of botanical motifs through their representation on porcelain, printings, furniture and other decorative objects in the Collection.


Bloom tours were presented on 22 February 2017, 28 March 2017, 26 April 2017, and 24 May 2017

SEE MORE
image-I

The Johnston Collection presented more than 40 lectures and study series in 2017 featuring local and international speakers on a diverse and engaging range of topics.

See Appendix 6 for a full list of our 2017 Lecture and Study Series program.

SEE MORE
image Jb

STUDY SERIES | DREAM PLACES

Dream Places, a series of 10 lectures reflecting on the themes of dreams and dreamers while exploring the social and cultural worlds where art and design meet, continued with some of the themes explored in the concurrent exhibition, HOUSE OF DREAMS in Fairhall.

SEE MORE
A peaceful view across the water of Painshill's ruined abbey, courtesy of Fred Holmes (Painshill)

STUDY SERIES | IN PRAISE OF LANCELOT ‘CAPABILITY’ BROWN

The Johnston Collection marked the 300th anniversary of the birth of English landscape designer, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, with a series of four lectures exploring his life, work and legacy.

Canaletto The Bucintoro at the Molo is for the Ca Rezzonico

THE SYLVIA SAGONA SERIES 2017 | GREAT COLLECTIONS OF VENICE AND ROME

Sylvia Sagona, specialist on 19th century French society presented three lectures exploring themes around collecting in 17th and 18th century Italy.

SEE MORE
image M

THE EUGENE BARILO VON REISBERG SERIES | NAPOLEON’S CHILDREN

Eugene Barilo Von Reisberg, lecturer, researcher, and art consultant presented three lectures focusing on Napoleon and his children.

image N

THE ADRIAN DICKENS STUDY SERIES

Adrian Dickens, jeweller , presented three talks in 2017 on 20th century celebrities and their jewels.

SEE MORE
jocic2017

SPECIAL SERIES

MELBOURNE STORIES

A series of talks presented throughout the year celebrating Melbourne's rich cultural history.

JANE AUSTEN 200 SERIES

In 2017 The Johnston Collection commemorated the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death on 18 July 1817 with a series of lectures honouring the
ongoing interpretation and influence of Jane Austen’s life and works.

SEE MORE
Henry_William_Beechey Marcia Fox
image Q

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA MELBOURNE FASHION FESTIVAL ARTS PROGRAM SERIES 2017

The Johnston Collection was a participant in the VAMFF Arts Program Series 2017 with a series of three lectures exploring contemporary and historical
fashion.

Jean-Étienne Liotard  Still Life Tea Set

ACQUISITIONS

In keeping with The Johnston Collection’s Deed of Trust (1 June 1987) which states that the Collection ‘shall also include other antiques and/ or arts works which by any means and at any time may be added to The WR Johnston Collection’, a number of items were added to the Collection this year through gifts and purchases from bequest funds.

This year Andrew Dixon gifted four items, including exemplary examples of sterling silver produced by leading 18th and 19th century makers, and Christine Bell gifted a mid-19th century mantle garniture (Regency Crescent). Interest accrued on The Nina Stanton Bequest to acquire 18th century porcelain for The Johnston Collection enabled the purchase of eight items for the museum including an 18th century Bow figure, an 18th century Worcester spoon tray, and a pair of 18th century Chelsea figures (cherubs holding baskets of flowers).

See Appendix 7 for a full list of acquisitions.

SEE MORE
image S

VISITORS

The Johnston Collection is in a residential area and operates within the terms set out in its City of Melbourne planning permit which stipulates that the museum can have only 72 visitors per day in Fairhall exhibition-house and 33 people attending a lecture in the Kent Room at the same time.

This year The Johnston Collection welcomed 5,617 visitors. Of these, 4,630 visited Fairhall exhibition-house and 987 attended lectures, study series and master classes in the Kent Room. [See Appendix X] Total visitor numbers were down by 17% in 2017.


…a fantastic tour…Could do it over and over again and still not see everything. The houses were pure magic.

Gwen Owen, email 27 October 2016


I visited this collection last week – it was awesome! Well worth going to.

Gail Birchall Facebook 5 December 2016


My favourite ‘museum’ in Melbourne.

Linda Dale13 May 2017

SEE MORE
image T

ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY

By participating in many community events, The Johnston Collection provided further opportunities for everyone to enjoy the Collection. With specially curated programs targeting groups who wouldn’t ordinarily visit the museum, The Johnston Collection was able to engage more broadly with many and diverse communities.

OPEN HOUSE MELBOURNE | 2016
30 July 2016

VICTORIAN SENIORS FESTIVAL 2016
4 - 7 October 2016

OPEN DAY AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE 2017
26 January 2017

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA MELBOURNE FASHION FESTIVAL ARTS PROGRAM 2017
1 – 19 March 2017

THE  GLAD RAPPERS REDECORATE @TJCMUSEUM
10 March 3 April 2017

AUSTRALIAN SILVER SOCIETY TALKS

The Australian Silver Society held their meetings at The Johnston Collection throughout the year. These events were generously supported by TJC Ambassador, Mr Roger Brookes.

SEE MORE
image T1

MELBOURNE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL | ÔTER AU MUSEE:

Minimalist French Cuisine in a Maximalist Museum
3 April 2017

 

Last night was such a treat….I have been raving about the evening to friends today

Diane Clifford email 4 April 2017

SEE MORE
image  V

EDUCATION

The Johnston Collection offers post-graduate students curatorial placements as well as offering the Collection and Fairhall to students as a subject for postgraduate
research.

Deakin University student, Rebecca Bolden completed an internship at The Johnston Collection in 2017.

Artist Rosslynd Piggott based the practical component of her PhD research around her installation for the house of ideas series Murmur (1 July 2013 – 20 October 2013) at The Johnston Collection. In February 2017 Piggott presented the exhibition Cumulus (mirrored) based on her PhD research.

SEE MORE
image W

AWARDS

The Johnston Collection was shortlisted in two categories at the MGA Museums & Galleries National Awards in May 2017 – in the Temporary or Travelling Exhibition category for WILLIAM JOHNSTON’S EMPORIUM | Hecker Guthrie rearranges William Johnston’s Collection , and in the Interpretation, Learning & Audience Engagement category for HOUSE OF DREAMS | Barking Spider Visual Theatre

SEE MORE
image X

THE FRIENDS OF THE JOHNSTON COLLECTION EVENTS

The Friends of The Johnston Collection are part of a social network of people who support the world of visual art and design and play an important role in the life of The Johnston Collection since the group was first established in 1999. In 2017 The Friends Committee organised a number of exclusive events and activities for members.

See Appendix 8 for a full list of The Friends events in 2017

SEE MORE
image Y

PUBLICATIONS

The Johnston Collection’s What’s On is published twice a year. The Spring | Summer 2016 issue was produced in both hard-copy and digital form, the Autumn |Winter 2017 issue was produced in digital form only. Both publications were distributed widely to supporters.

fairhall is a magazine for The Friends, volunteers, and supporters of The Johnston Collection. Published three times a year, the magazine is produced by volunteers. This year saw the publication of  f airhall issues # 18 (July 2016), # 19 (November 2016) and # 20 (March 2017).

SEE MORE
image Z

VOLUNTEER EVENTS

The Johnston Collection organised a variety of events for volunteers throughout 2017 as a way of recognising the invaluable commitment and support they give to the museum.

CELEBRATE | VOLUNTEERS END OF YEAR FUNCTION
24 November 2016

VOLUNTEERS DAY OUT | BENDIGO ART GALLERY
10 May 2017

VOLUNTEER GUIDE TRAINING DAYS

Training days enable volunteer guides to learn about and practise their presentations for each new tour. This year Guide Training Days were held on 7 July 2016 for HOUSE OF DREAMS, on 29 September 2016 for ‘RETURN TO THE CITY’, on 9 February 2017 for BEING MODERN, and on 8 June 2017 for ANIMAL KINGDOM.

VOLUNTEER INFORMATION SHARING DAYS

An Information Sharing Day for all volunteers including Trustees, Ambassadors, The Friends of The Johnston Collection Committee, Volunteer Guides,
Volunteers and staff 
was held on 16 March 2017.

SEE MORE
image AA

Shop


There is a beautiful gift shop…

Christine S Trip Advisor 24 July 2016

SEE MORE
image CC

Facebook


image BB

Instagram

SEE MORE

In the Media

image EEb

The Age


image DD

YouTube

cup

APPENDICES:

APPENDIX 1 Who We Are in 2017
APPENDIX 2 Visitors
APPENDIX 3 House of Dreams
APPENDIX 4 Return To The City
APPENDIX 5 Animal Kingdom
APPENDIX 6 Lectures Study Series
APPENDIX 7 Acquisitions 2017
APPENDIX 8 The Friends Events 2017
APPENDIX 9 Media
APPENDIX 10 Advertising
SEE MORE

Image Credits

A peaceful view across the water of Painshill’s ruined abbey, courtesy of Fred Holmes, Pains

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73), Portrait of Emilie, Princesse de Chimay (1808-71), 1849, oil on canvas, private collection, (Public Domain)

Library of Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, England

The Windsors and their pugs in the sitting room of the Villa Windsor, in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris in 1964. | image Horst/ © Conde Nast Archive / Corbis

TJC-Logo
Back To Report