Travelling SLM Churchill Fellow reports back


Sydney Living Museums’ Director of Strategy and Engagement, Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon, is currently visiting the USA and Canada, before heading to Europe, thanks to a Churchill Fellowship.

Through this prestigious Fellowship, Caroline is exploring the best new global models of visitor accessibility and experience at heritage sites in the UK, Denmark, USA and Canada.

She has already visited a large number of museums, galleries and iconic houses through her participation in the Iconic Houses 2018 Conference in New Canaan, USA, which was held on the 16–18 May.

Sydney Living Museums’ very own Rose Seidler House is a part of the Iconic Houses Network, and Caroline’s travels are allowing her to draw connections to other incredible properties that are equally outstanding representatives of 20th century architecture and design. 

One particularly special visit was Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, USA, where she took a two-hour in-depth tour. This was complemented with an opportunity to meet the new Director of Fallingwater, Justin Gunther to discuss the rise of 20th century architectural tourism across the globe. Caroline said:

... wonderful visitor experience @Fallingwater... [t]hanks to our guide, Megan G who was hugely knowledgeable but conversational throughout. Made seeing this masterpiece of the 20th century just that bit more special.

[Also] fortunate to spend 90 minutes with the inspiring Director of @Fallingwater Justin Gunther today. Great lessons and ideas shared about how we can connect great 20th century Iconic Houses with the widest public.

  • Modern house set in greenery with waterfall running into river.

    Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, USA.

    Photos Caroline Butler-Bowdon © Sydney Living Museums

In Canada she fulfilled a childhood dream by experiencing one of Montréal’s signature buildings, Habitat 67 built for the city’s EXPO. Caroline said:

... so super to experience this iconic housing #childhooddream [Habitat 67]. Sense of neighbourhood + collective life are plain to see. Tours only began in 2017 for its 50th with 5000 visitors so far. Fab tour + great to meet the site’s director, Normand Letourneau...

Modular stacked building.
Habitat 67, Montreal, Canada. Photo Caroline Butler-Bowdon © Sydney Living Museums

While continuing her travels, Caroline is keeping us updated via her Twitter feed using the hash tag #cbbchurchill2017