In March 1972 the iconic Melbourne department store Georges staged an exhibition entitled, ‘The Best of Britain’. William Johnston was one of 17 contributors to the display.
Encouraged by John Rogan of the National Trust of Victoria, who had earlier organised an exhibition of ‘Victorian Room Settings’, William Johnston lent pieces from Fairhall that he thought would be eminently suitable. Rogan turned to Johnston again when writing his book, Antiques in Australia from Private Collections, for which two from Johnston’s own collection were selected.
William Johnston prided himself by championing – and setting the tone of – British interiors in Melbourne, especially with items that were from his stock at Kent Antiques in Armadale. He promoted the classic English craftsmanship of Chippendale and Hepplewhite and celebrated the ceramics of the wondrous potteries of Wedgwood, Bow and Chelsea. Through his own collecting and dealing he perfectly represented all that is eclectic and extraordinary of the long 18th century of design and influences on the fine and decorative arts in Britain.
This annual WILLIAM JOHNSTON: His Residence & Collection exhibition will consider, through Johnston’s collection key items that reflect the Best of Britain.
Enjoy a visually enticing display of over 400 years of art history and share William Johnston’s lifetime passion for collecting. Rare items will adorn each room of Fairhall exhibition-house as you immerse yourself in otherworldly treasures and luscious interiors, filled with stories of design, history, travel, and tales of the past.
Experience objects gathered by William Johnston unfettered by ropes or barriers.
THE BEST OF BRITAIN | WILLIAM JOHNSTON: His Residence & Collection offers a traditional interpretation of the Collection.
This exhibition is supported by The Friends of The Johnston Collection.