Retford Park Rehung - The Art of Collecting

Saturday 9 November - Sunday 24 November
Retford Park, 1325 Old South Road, Bowral
Phone. (02) 48611933
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Retford Park Rehung – The Art of Collecting – House Tours included

This is an annual event where the main house of Retford Park gets rehung with artworks – this year it will be provided by Justin Miller Art – there will also be a satellite exhibition by Artists of the Round Yard (in-house art group based at Retford Park). There will be various events from 9 - 24 November including day tours, sunset tours, a dinner for 40 people and two dinners for 10.

“There are great benefits of collecting art. The bond between the work of art and its owner is different from the bond established by a spectator. The former involves a sense of permanence like a marriage, the latter may be nothing more than a casual liaison.” 

Author: unknown 

This November, the home of the late Mr James Fairfax AC, Retford Park, will again be a celebration of art. Fairfax gifted this wonderfully inspiring property in 2017 to the people of Australia via the National Trust. Now, each spring, the walls of Retford Park are rehung. 

Justin Miller at Retford Park 

To ensure the calibre of this exhibition meets the high standard of Fairfax’s collection, the National Trust of Australia (NSW) looked to Justin Miller of Justin Miller Art. Justin was the Chairman of Sotheby’s Australia for over ten years. He is currently one of Australia’s most trusted art advisors for private and corporate art collections, and he will both curate and provide the works for the main house. 

With much of Australia’s fine art at his fingertips, Justin has secured a diverse and impressive range for the exhibition. Visitors will see the likes of Rosalie Gascoigne, Sidney Nolan, Margaret Preston, Brett Whiteley, Grace Cossington Smith, Jeffery Smart, Arthur Boyd, John Olsen and Tony Tuckson. Importantly, Fairfax also collected many of the artists in the exhibition. All of the works are available for purchase. 

A tribute to the Fairfax legacy 

For Fairfax, the power of collecting art, probably his greatest passion in life, was also an extraordinary act of philanthropy. He prodigiously funded many art institutions, including state galleries and the National Gallery of Australia. 

“It is not often that the character and strength of a public art collection can be changed by a single individual. But this is exactly what James Fairfax did with the extraordinary wealth of works of art he donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. These donations have transformed the earlier European collection from the conventional to the quite splendid.” 

Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales 

Satellite exhibition outside the main house 

Visitors will discover the Artists of the Round Yard Inc. outside of the main house, where the Art of Collecting continues. This is a creative group of painters, sculptors, printmakers, jewellers and photographers, based at Retford Park. Wandering through the gallery, garden and exquisite round yard slowly reveals their works. 


Tours and Dinners 

See below for the different ways to enjoy this impressive exhibition. Please note, all the tours and dinners listed below include the Satellite exhibition by the Artists of the Round Yard and also the magnificent gardens that surround the house. Please arrive early to enjoy the full experience. 

Bookings are essential for the following events: 

Day Tours: 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 November

In the splendour of spring at Retford Park, enjoy a tour of a rare exhibition: The Art of Collecting. See the grand walls of the main house with the likes of Rosalie Gascoigne, Sidney Nolan, Margaret Preston, Brett Whiteley, Grace Cossington Smith, Jeffery Smart, Arthur Boyd, John Olsen and Tony Tuckson. All these will be for sale. 

Adult $35 – Con $30 – Child $15 – NT member $28 


Sunset Tours: 13, 14, 20, 22 November, 5pm 

As the sun begins to fall during November, Scott Pollock, Manager of Retford Park and huge fan of Australian art and Mr James Fairfax, will guide you through the estate. This is an exclusive opportunity to not only see part of the Fairfax legacy but also the wonderful array of high-end art that any collector would be proud have in their collection. Finish the evening with canapés and champagne – and the sunset at Retford Park. 

Adult $80 – NT member $70 


Dinner for 40: 9 November, 6pm 

Retford Park will open its doors to host an evening event which has been planned to the finest detail. Be greeted with a glass of sparkling wine before being seated in the Morning Room to enjoy a sumptuous meal accompanied by quality wine. The house will be decorated with flowers picked fresh from the garden. Special guests will join the dinner party for an open-ended discussion about The Art of Collecting. 

Ticket Price – $140 


Intimate Dinner for 10: 15 & 16 November 

Not often does Retford Park offer the opportunity to dine in one of the most famous dining rooms of the Southern Highlands. This will only happen twice throughout this unique exhibition. On the 15th and 16th of November, you will park outside of the 19th Century mansion. Your car will be parked as you enter the main welcoming room. You will then commence an evening that will give you an intimate glimpse of this powerful exhibition full of Australian Masters- His art – His home – His legacy. 

It will be a night to remember. Your host for the night will be the manager of Retford Park, Scott Pollock and his partner, Dion Hall. 

Ticket price $3500 for a group of 10 


If you would like to only see the gardens and the satellite exhibition by Artists of the Round, and not the main house exhibition, this is possible on the following dates – 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 November (weekends only), from 10am to 4pm. No bookings required; National Trust entry fees apply.

Retford Park Rehung - The Art of Collecting


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