THE REAL DEAL | WILLIAM JOHNSTON: His Residence & Collection

16 Mar 2022 - 11 Sep 2022

William Johnston was a ‘dealer, collector, decorator, enthusiast, property investor, landlord, and story-teller’. 

From an early age, Johnston had an untrained but natural ability to pick out ‘good pieces’ from auction houses and homes he visited in Melbourne. He had an obvious passion for collecting. Encouraged by his mother, Johnston developed his talent as a dealer that led to a lifetime of buying and selling to an enthusiastic market and creating his own collection. 

His life as an entrepreneurial antique dealer enabled Johnston to travel the world to seek out stock in other parts of the world: England, Europe, Asia, and America. Fuelled by demand, and as stock grew scarce, Johnston could furnish clients houses with the right, sometimes fabricated, pieces. 

This annual WILLIAM JOHNSTON: His Residence & Collection exhibition will consider, through Johnston’s character as a dealer & trader, and through his collection, how he sourced and made things attractive for the market and for himself. 

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 travel and tales of the past. Experience objects gathered by William Johnston unfettered by ropes or barriers. 

THE REAL DEAL | WILLIAM JOHNSTON: His Residence & Collection offers a traditional interpretation of the Collection. 

This exhibition is supported by The Friends of The Johnston Collection.

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