Saturday, May 7, 2011

Visit to Heide Museum of Modern Art and Its Grounds

Today I went with family to Heide Museum of Modern Art ( ), in Melbourne, originally established by art patrons John and Sunday Reed in 1934.

There are many outdoor sculptures, including this, 'The Seed':

Outside Cafe Vue, where we ate ( I had a marvellous fish soup and delicious braised lamb ), the hardscape is finely planted with natives, including some espaliered Eucalyptus Caesia:

Here are some wide views of some of the 16 acres of garden:

A Rick Amor sculpture:                                                                                                                                

Another sculpture, by Andrew Rogers, 'Unfurling':                                                                                                  

There's a wonderful, heritage vegetable garden too:                                                                                        

  Some Tansy:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Some of the trees are stunning:                                                                                                            

Here is a view of 'Heide II', designed by David McGlashan in 1963:

And one of the new gallery buildings:

A piece of the original garden:

My mother and me:



  1. Love the sculpture. The garden looks very wild. Is it? And when I was this post earlier in the morning, your sister was in the picture. Ha! She's gone now.

    What is Heide II? Interesting building...

  2. Okay. I get it. Wikipedia gave me the answer. One of the finest examples of modernist architecture in Victoria.

  3. The 16 acres include an original Victorian homestead ( Heide I ), the David McGlashan building ( Heide II, 1963 ) and a handful of recent spaces ( Heide III ). Heide II was designed as 'a gallery to be lived in' by John and Sunday Reed, whose patronage and support kickstarted and cultivated the work of a large number of Australia's most talented mid-20th century artists, among them Sid Nolan. Alot of the gardens are 'wild', or park-like, and only more ordered around the buildings. I couldn't decide between photos...should I put my sister back in the frame? Yes, James, it's so good to see sculpture out in the open where it becomes part of the landscape/context.

  4. Hello Faisal:
    We were completely fascinated by this post as we knew nothing of these gardens previously. Certainly, in our view, we feel that sculpture in the landscape adds an extra dimension to any open space, and this is certainly the case here.

    Although much of the garden is obviously on the wild side this does, we feel in this case, enhance rather than detract from the art works. Whatever, it comes as a refreshing change from the totally manicured look which employs hundreds, no thousands, of bedding plants. Ghastly!

  5. Hi Jane and Lance. The grounds of Heide run down to the Yarra river, a brown, slow-moving and ancient watercourse. It's a relaxed space: families come with their picnic baskets, there are no guards or attendants to be seen, and the public is free to wander. You see others off over in the distance, but there aren't crowds. You're right - in this case the site itself has always had an untamedness, and to take that away would be to take away the spirit of place. As much as I like order, I like it to be counterbalanced by disorder.

  6. Hi Faisal, thank you for this post. Heide is one of my favourite places to visit. And I think it is very generous of you to post photos of you and your family. I hope (and I'm sure) Ian had a lovely birthday. cheers, catmint

  7. Thankyou, Catmint...I appreciate your comment.

  8. I loved Heide while we were living in Melbourne... it is such an inspiring environment, both exhibitions and the gardens with sculptures on the meadow behind, they were in such harmony with the landscape.

  9. You'll have to come back, Liisa. None of it would be here now if a handful of creative people hadn't believed in their work...

  10. when we lived in sheffield we always went to THE WAKEFIELD sculpture park which alwasy had nationally recognised was always lovely

  11. Thanks, John...I'll see what I can find out about it.

  12. I loved this post! I so desperately would love to visit Heide, I've read many books and dreamt of that life and the place that inspired and nurtured so many of our artists. One of my favourite books is The Heart Garden about Sunday Reed and her love of her garden there. So often we see photos of the work inside so it was lovely to see views outside for a change. Thank You.

  13. Ah, Paintlater, you're up in NSW, aren't you? One of the things so nice about Heide is the lack of institutionalism. The wider gardens aren't manicured. Visitors are free to wander. The mid-century house John and Sunday built is well-considered, warm, usable, well-designed and understated.