Our purpose is to enhance the heritage values of our houses, museums and gardens for current and future generations, and to engage our audiences with passion and creativity. With this in mind, we continue our series of feature stories ‘If These Walls Could Talk …’

In this issue curator Scott Hill turns to the arcade at Rouse Hill House & Farm, describing recent conservation works to the area and exploring its use as a place of entertainment and celebration in the 1890s and early 1900s. Ed Washington from our programs team tells the important and poignant story of six Sydney Mint workers who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force during World War I. Particularly moving is the account of Arthur Kilgour, who recorded his experiences of life on the front line in his diary. This is a significant story that also visually conveys the industrial workplace character of The Mint.

Renowned German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said, ‘Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.’ Our exhibition Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO® Bricks, at the Museum of Sydney, comprises hundreds of thousands of colourful LEGO bricks. Most of them make up the 18 model skyscrapers painstakingly assembled by LEGO® certified professional Ryan McNaught and his team. There will also be about 200,000 loose bricks in the space for visitors to get busy constructing their own towers of tomorrow.

Also in this issue you can see a selection of the innovative and imaginative works created by women artists across NSW for the Meroogal Women’s Art Prize. Displayed throughout the house, the works shed light on the many stories of this house museum and the women who lived there.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Miriam Hamilton (nee Terry), who passed away on 15 October 2014, two weeks short of her 90th birthday. A descendant of both the Rouse family of Rouse Hill and the Thorburns of Meroogal, with her late husband, Ian, Mrs Hamilton was one of the last co-owners of Rouse Hill House and its collection. She maintained a close association with Rouse Hill and Sydney Living Museums staff over many years, and generously provided access to her research and private collection for exhibitions, publications and property interpretation. With current and former staff members I attended her funeral, a celebration of her life as a much-loved mother and grandmother and dedicated heritage advocate.

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Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 

This article originally appeared in Unlocked: The Sydney Living Museums Gazette, our quarterly Members’ magazine.

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