Norman Lindsay (1879-1969) was a prolific artist, writer, editorial cartoonist and scale modeller. He is regarded as one of Australia's greatest artists, famous for his Bohemian flair and paintings of sumptuous nudes. Lindsay was associated poets Kenneth Slessor and Hugh McCrae and influenced them through the philosophical system in his book Creative Effort. He illustrated the cover for Henry Lawson's While The Billy Boils. The many-faceted Lindsay also wrote the children's classic The Magic Pudding and created more scandal when his novel Redheap was banned because it failed censorship laws.
While Lindsay worked as an editorial cartoonist, most notably with The Bulletin, his enthusiasm for erotica took a backseat to the racist and right-wing political leanings that dominated the magazine. The Red Menace and Yellow Peril were popular themes in his cartoons and occasionally his views spilled over into other works.
In 1912 Norman Lindsay's associate purchased 17 hectares of bush at Faulconbridge. 'Springwood', as the property became known, was constantly transformed. Classical colonnades and a Roman courtyard were added, a bush swimming pool was built and the grounds were embellished with fountains, sculptures of nymphs, satyrs and sirens.
When Lindsay died, he left around 40 works and furniture, ship models and books to the National Trust, on the condition they purchased his Faulconbridge property to display them. Many can be seen there while others are in museums and private or corporate collections. His works continue to climb in value.
His studio is the most intact part of the property. This is where Norman Lindsay painted, wrote and made ship models and his art materials, books and unfinished paintings on easels remain as they were. Some of the furniture was made by him.
The main gallery was the Lindsay family home from 1912 and displays magnificent oils in a stunning red living room. There is a kitchen, complete with Aga stove and ice chest, and a sunny courtyard containing some of the artist's cement sculptures.
The etching studio is where 370 etchings were created. Each took up to two months to complete, all through a magnifying glass and mirror-reversed. It is also where his wife Rose printed the etchings. The original etching press remains.
The gardens speak volumes about Lindsay's inspiration. A path in front of the old studio leads to the pool he built. Another path passes native trees and plants, a huge flat rock, wonderful views and water tanks.
Thanks to the recent renovation of a contemporary cottage, visitors can enjoy a break in the large grounds of the Norman Lindsay property. It has a kitchen, laundry, double bed and a fold-up suitable for a child.
The Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
Entry to the Norman Lindsay Gallery is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for children over five. It is open every day between 10am and 4pm. Closed December 25.
Norman Lindsay Gallery rooms at The Cottage start at $120 a night twin-share midweek. There is a minimum two-night stay. National Trust members receive a 15-percent discount. To become a member, phone (02) 9258 0156.
Virgin Blue has one-way flights to Sydney.
One-way fares from;
- Melbourne, $75
- Brisbane & Adelaide, $115
- Darwin, $209
- Perth, $229
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are one-way on the Net. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at October 5, 2006, and are subject to change.
Prices quoted are correct on October 5, 2006.
Norman Lindsay Gallery
14 Norman Lindsay Crescent
Phone: (02) 4751 1067
Fax: (02) 4751 5845
Ph: 13 6789