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Heide Museum

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Heide Museum of Modern Art was the birthplace of Australian Modernism. It comprises three galleries in a sprawling garden on a site owned by wealthy art collectors and patrons John and Sunday Reed. Between the 1930s and 1950s, it was a refuge of inspiration for artists and intellectuals.

The Angry Penguin painters are considered to be the major figures of Australia's modernist movement. Painters, poets and writers such as Arthur Boyd, Max Harris, John Perceval, Charles Blackman, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester and Sidney Nolan gathered at the Reeds' home to shape the future of art in Australia. Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly series was painted in the dining room there.

The Reeds sold Heide to the Victorian Government in 1980 and it opened officially as a public art gallery in November 1981.

The farmhouse, which was known as Heide and is now known as Heide I, remains on the site, alongside the newer house, Heide II which was designed in 1963 by Melbourne architect David McGlashan. It is a classic example of modernist architecture.

History permeates every corner of the heritage house. The library, painted in deep red ochre by Sunday Reed and Sidney Nolan, was the centre of social life at Heide. It was here that the Reeds spent evenings writing, entertaining friends and house guests, and reading from the extensive collection of books and journals they assembled during travels to Europe and the United States.

Sunday Reed owned and hung several works at Heide by family friend and renowned artist, Arthur Streeton who had painted her as a young girl. Murals on the dining room walls, windows, doors and floor were painted by Mike Brown, another family friend.

The Museum's extensive gardens include The Heart Garden, Vegetable Garden, Wild Garden and two heritage-listed Osage orange groves. In late 2005 sculptor Lauren Berkowitz and Heide gardeners installed a plant-based sculpture in the grounds. It was unveiled as part of the Museum's 25th anniversary celebrations in November 2006.

Heide Museum of Modern Art's $3 million 2005-06 Redevelopment Program was conceived to create additional exhibition spaces, both indoors and outdoors, and to extend visitor amenities. A priority was for the purpose-built Heide III to include a dedicated gallery to house the Tucker Gift through a changing exhibition program and study centre. This Gift, donated by Barbara Tucker in memory of her late husband Albert Tucker, comprises over 200 paintings, as well as extensive archives. Heide's Redevelopment Program also includes the new Sidney Myer Education Centre and restoration of Heide II, including the surrounding grounds.

The Heide store has a wide selection of items by emerging Australian designers. It features homewares, jewellery, special gifts, cards and stationery. Perfect for special gifts.

Heide Café focuses on local and seasonal produce. They serve gourmet sandwiches, paninis, salads, tarts and desserts and will create a Heide Hamper for two or more to be enjoyed in the gardens.


The suburb of Bulleen in Melbourne.


Heide Museum of Modern Art is open Tuesday to Friday between 10am-5pm and between noon-5pm on weekends and public holidays. Entry to exhibitions is $11 for adults and $8 for seniors and children. Entry to the Gardens and Sculpture Park is free.

Virgin Blue has flights to Melbourne. One-way fares from;

  • Adelaide, $95
  • Sydney, $110
  • Brisbane, $139
  • Darwin, $199
  • Perth, $219

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 May 10, 2007 and are subject to change.

Prices quoted correct at 10/05/2007

More information

Heide Museum of Modern Art
7 Templestowe Road
Bulleen 3105
Ph: (03) 9850 1500
Fax: (03) 9852 0154

Virgin Blue
Ph: 13 6789

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