This month is the highlight of the year for the Southern Highland and Sydney set judging by the quality of art on show. Get set for Justin Miller’s exhibition, The Art of Collecting: Retford Park Rehung that opens on Saturday as part of an annual exhibition at the famous country estate, in the Southern Highlands. We were exuberant when legendary art adviser and former Sotheby’s chairman, Miller rang to tell us he was curating artworks for the property with a collection of knockout international and Australian paintings, sculpture, ceramics and works on paper – and we think you will be, too. Remember that Retford Park is, after all, a National Trust heritage museum, former home of one of the country’s greatest scions. CLICK HERE to find out why it’s a must-see, what to look for and how to book. It’s a rare chance to take a squizz into the antique-filled estate of the late James Fairfax, to see (and buy) art by top-selling artists collected by institutions around Australia and the world. CLICK HERE to find out why it’s a must-see, what to look for and how to book.
Think names like Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri, Edgar Degas as well as Jeffrey Smart, John Olsen, Arthur Boyd, John Coburn, Brett Whiteley, Sidney Nolan, and Hans Heysen.
You can wander the meticulously maintained estate, complete with its extraordinary gardens and vestiges from a lifetime of collecting some of the finest artworks and objet d’art in the world. Sitting pride of place in the home will be Ben Quilty, Grace Cossington Smith, Dorrit Black, and Tony Tuckson – “there is nothing quite like it in Australia”, says National Trust director of properties Richard Slink.
It’s a great lesson in how to make a rewarding place for art in your life. If you want to find meaning and inspiration in art – this show is an excellent place to start.
There’s something wild and wonderful about it; and a feeling of inevitability about the artworks; you can’t imagine anything else hanging there.
Having the house and garden to yourself can feel magical. Wander aimlessly through its living rooms, and bedrooms and you’re as likely to stumble across a lovely little Grace Cossington Smith as a Sidney Nolan work on paper, Margaret Preston or Max Dupain. The experience is everything. It’s art to intrigue. And of course you are in the best hands in the business: Justin Miller – where serious collectors go.
Just like an art fair, Retford Park Rehung is a destination day like any art fair, that is a more social, less intimidating way for art lovers to browse art – and bring home something they can engage with forever.
The value of art, after all, comes from engagement.
It’s also a chance to visit Australia’s Southern Highlands at one of the best times of the year, and see what’s new.
Bookings: To enquire about viewings and tickets please email [email protected]
Tickets: Purchase your tickets online here, Retford Park Rehung
Bottom line: $2,000 up; Sidney Nolan’s works on paper from $5,500, a wonderful Susan Rothwell, $4500.
Getting there: Two-hour drive from Sydney, 1325 Old South Road, Bowral, NSW.
Directions: Head up Merrigang Street from Bong Bong Street, the main street in Bowral. Follow to the end of Merrigang and turn right at the ‘T’ intersection. Watch for the Retford Park white gate, the second driveway on the left.
Plan Your Day: There are garden guided tours every day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Day Tours: November 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
All inquiries: [email protected]