Exhibitions

View of the hallway from the Vestibule, Villa Alba Museum

CURRENT EXHIBITION

The Poetic Home
Our second exhibition at the Kew Court House in 2019 explores the lavish décor of the interiors of three nineteenth century mansions in Kew. These interiors were created by a new breed of decorating firms including Cullis Hill and Co, and the Paterson Brothers which emerged in the boom years of the 1880s. Southesk and Tara Hall were regrettably demolished in 1960 and 1970 but Villa Alba remains and is now a house museum showcasing nineteenth century interior decorative finishes, and interior decoration.
Open each Friday & Saturday, 11.00am – 1.00pm
Level 1, Kew Court House
188 High Street Kew, 3101

 

PAST EXHIBITIONS

Railways of Kew
From the Keith Smith collections, photographs, documents and artefacts relating to the Outer Circle Railway and the Kew Branch line.

Historic Houses of Kew
Paintings of both cottages and mansions by the artist Joy Stewart (1925-2018). A story accompanying each building explores the building’s architectural significance as well as the lives of its inhabitants.

Water H20
Historic images and objects depicting this precious resource, and its relationship to Kew: including natural waterways, water for domestic, recreational and industrial use, and its use in in our parks and gardens.

Traders of Kew: Past and present
By 1858, Kew was well supplied with stores and the usual tradesmen of a township. Many of these early businesses were still in operation a century later. Some of the present day traders have been in business for over 50 years, and in some cases, almost 100 years. The exhibitions explores the history of past and present traders in Kew and Kew East through historic photographs and objects.

Theatre & Music in Kew: the 1950s & 60s
An exhibition featuring rare scrapbooks, photographs, programmes, and contemporary reviews of theatre and music performances in the Kew Recreation Hall and the Kew City Hall, drawn from the Marion Tilley and Alfred Dear Collections.

Scouts and Girl Guides in Kew 1909-2009
An exhibition featuring a number of photographs and objects illustrating the history of Scouts and Girl Guides in Kew.

Round the Bend – Asylums on the Yarra 1848-2008
An photographic exhibition exploring the historical roles of the ‘asylum’ in Victorian culture, focusing on the Yarra Bend Asylum, the Kew Lunatic Asylum (later Willsmere Hospital) and Kew Cottages.

Kew Illustrated: Panoramas of Kew, 1891
Exhibition featuring the complete set of twelve panoramas of Kew commissioned in 1891 by Sir Henry de Castres Kellett. The silver albumen photographs by J.F.C Farquhar are the most important series of nineteenth century photographs of Kew.
pdf file icon Download the Exhibition catalogue
(149kB PDF format)

Historic Gardens of Kew
An exhibition of photographs, paintings, ephemera and realia – sourced from the collection of the Kew Historical Society and augmented with works from public and private collections – which explores the history of private and public gardens and gardening in Kew.

Victorian Era Fashion
An exhibition of historic costumes, fashion accessories and photographs dating from the period 1850-1900, drawn from the costume and photographic collections of the Kew Historical Society, augmented with loans from private collectors. The exhibition has been made possible with the support of the City of Boroondara and the Balwyn Rotary Club.

Survey Maps of Kew
An exhibition of early 20th century Melbourne and Metropolitan survey maps of Kew.

J. E. Barnes: Kew’s ‘Embarkation Photographer’
Josiah Earl Barnes, Kew’s greatest photographer, worked locally as a photographer from ca. 1908 until his death in 1921. 

Beyond the Gate
A photographic exploration of nine significant houses, each selected to represent a particular decade of our history from the 1840s to the 1920s.
pdf file icon Download the Exhibition catalogue – Beyond the Gate

Kew from Above
Aerial photographs of Kew from the collections of the Kew Historical Society and the State Library of Victoria.
pdf file icon Download the Exhibition catalogue – Kew From Above

Sport in Kew
Photographs and ephemera from the collections of the Green Acres Golf Club, Kew Croquet Club, Kew Football Club, Kew Golf Club, North Kew Tennis Club, and the Sacred Heart Tennis Club.

Kew Living
Selected photographs of people, places and events in Kew, Kew East and Studley Park, taken in 1988 to mark the Australian Bicentennial.

Schools of Kew
The history of Trinity Grammar School
The 50th anniversary of Kew High School.

Dancing in Kew
Private ballrooms in the great houses of Kew and in major hall such as the Kew Recreation Hall in Wellington Street.