You could say Manningham is synonymous with art. The municipality is steeped in a rich history of visual arts, most famously represented by the commissioning of the ‘Gateways Project’ which saw the creation of a series of large sculptures that mark a number of the main entry points into Manningham (including the Sentinel which we profiled as our introduction to Hudson Bond’s Property & Lifestyle segment, here).
Whilst public art forms and shapes Manningham’s vast surrounds, it is the Heide Museum of Modern Art, a longstanding pillar of Australia’s art society which houses an impressive collection of figurative, abstract, expressionist and realist art, that truly is the crown jewel of the region.
Open to the public all year round, I’m sure you’ve taken a moment to stroll Heide’s beautifully curated gardens, lounge for a drink at the café and of course tour the museum itself.
What you might not be aware of, however, are the varied and carefully curated learning and community-based activities and events that this modern sanctuary stages for its members and indeed the public in general, on a very regular basis. Heide offers onsite, online and outreach programs for students of all levels and interests inspired by their collection of art and current exhibitions.
Impressively, Heide also offers a broad range of activities for school aged children. These coming school holidays, children between the ages of 6 and 12 can partake in abstract painting, puppet making and gardening, while some lucky kids may even get the chance to create a wire-form sculpture that lights up (click here for a full list of school holiday activities).
Aside from the more conventional forms of art, the Heide Museum of Modern Art has recently collaborated with another much-loved Melbourne institution, The Rose St. Artists’ Market, to bring the Heide Market to life.
Set in the picturesque surrounds of Heide’s sculpture park, Heide Market is the perfect place to shop for eclectic treasures whilst also having the opportunity to chat directly to the makers of a wonderful range of handcrafted goods (visit https://www.heidemarket.com/ for more information on upcoming market dates).
All this, and more, is part of Heide’s vision and mission “to uphold and evolve the Heide spirit across art and ideas” and “bring Heide’s story, and its remarkable collection and landscape, to life in innovative ways”, inspiring “creative talent, improving exposure for emerging and mid-career artists” with the aim of attracting “a wide range of audiences – the loyal, the new and the virtual…” (source: https://www.heide.com.au/about/purpose-vision-and-mission).
The Heide Story, extract from https://www.heide.com.au/about/heide-story
Heide Museum of Modern Art began life in 1934 as the home of John and Sunday Reed and has since evolved into one of Australia’s most important cultural institutions.
Soon after purchasing the fifteen acre property on which Heide stands in 1934, founders John and Sunday Reed opened their home to like-minded individuals such as artists Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, John Perceval and Danila Vassilieff. They nurtured a circle of artists, writers and intellectuals who contributed to Heide becoming a place for the discussion, creation and promotion of modern art and literature.
John and Sunday made a lasting contribution to Australian culture through their support of creative endeavours in the visual arts, literature and architecture. In the mid-1950s the Reeds established the Gallery of Contemporary Art and in 1958, with the assistance of friend and entrepreneur Georges Mora, they re-launched the gallery as the Museum of Modern Art of Australia. This eventually led to the formal establishment of the museum.
Amassing an outstanding collection of the contemporary art of their time, the Reeds outgrew their original farmhouse, now known as Heide I, and in 1964 commissioned the construction of a ‘gallery to be lived in’ from David McGlashan. This modernist architectural icon eventually opened as a public art museum in November 1981 following its purchase by the State Government on behalf of the people of Victoria. Although the Reeds lived to see their vision fulfilled of Heide as a public museum, they both died shortly afterwards in December 1981, ten days apart. They are remembered as champions of modern art and literature and remain two of Australia’s most important art benefactors.
You can learn firsthand more of Heide’s fascinating history, this Easter Sunday 4 April 2021 at Heide’s ‘History Tour: Past and Present’.