My all time favourite house-museum is the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, where her art collection is accommodated in the house in which she lived. Despite the required additions and changes to create a public facility, the personal touches endure (the graves of her pets in the garden, the tables, the domestic scale). And it is these that allow visitors to experience something of Peggy Guggenheim’s personal narrative.
In Australia the house museum model, for all its (often National Trust) charm, has not been as dynamic (nor had such opportunities). However, OLLEYWOOD has turned that on its head, relocating Margaret Olley’s hat factory from Sydney’s Paddington into its Murwillumbah extension. This faithful reconstruction, of possibly Australia’s best-loved artist’s house and studio, is highly effective, and has charm and veracity in spades – yet can be maintained and re-invigorated from time to time (to keep the visitors coming back).
I conducted an interview with the dynamic Susi Muddiman, director of Tweed Regional Gallery and the new Margaret Olley Art Centre for The Urban List, see link below.