Collection close-ups: Vaucluse House

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Join Curator Joanna Nicholas for an intimate tour of two new interpretation projects at Vaucluse House: the orientation room and the drawing room, winner of the ‘Continuing Tradition’ Award in the National Trust Heritage Awards 2017 

The drawing room refurbishment draws upon authentic sources and traditional trades to re-create the room that the Wentworth family might have known, while the orientation room has been redesigned to enhance visitors’ understanding of the site’s complex history.

Members will be given first-hand access to some original sources from the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection that were used to inform the refurbishing of the drawing room, as well as other treasures provenanced to the Wentworth family not normally on display, including William Charles's court suit, part of which is pictured below. 

Spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. 


Waistcoat from the court costume of William Charles Wentworth. The waistcoat is ivory silk
Waistcoat from the court suit of William Charles Wentworth (1790 - 1872). Constructed from ivory silk, the panels of the waistcoat are embroidered with the floral emblems of England (the rose), Scotland (the thistle) and Ireland (the shamrock). The suit was made for Wentworth while he was on an extended  visit to England and Europe in 1854-1861. Wentworth’s activities during this time included a sustained campaign of lobbying to secure the introduction into the British Parliament of a new Constitution Bill which would provide full responsible government for the colony of New South Wales.
Vaucluse House Collection, gift of the late Hon. William Charles Wentworth IV, AO, and the Wentworth family, 1991. Photograph © Alex Kershaw.

About the curator

Joanna Nicholas, Curator, Sydney Living Museums.
Joanna Nicholas, Curator, Sydney Living Museums. Photo © Nicholas Watt.
Joanna is Curator in the House Museums Portfolio - responsible for Vaucluse, Elizabeth Bay and Rose Seidler Houses. She curated the 2017 Meroogal Women’s Art Prize and coordinates SLM’s volunteer Soft Furnishings Group. 

She is passionate about the immersive experiences house museums can provide for visitors – the power of their collections, gardens and grounds. As well as continuing to conserve, interpret and maintain SLM’s house museums she is interested in identifying and sharing new stories about them with our audiences.

Read more about Joanna.

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