Eltham, Victoria, Australia
Montsalvat is an artists centre created from a heritage listed property including 12 acres of established gardens, wonderful historic buildings with many studios and workshops. Only 20 minutes drive from Melbourne CBD this is a beautiful place to stroll amongst the trees, often accompanied by peacocks, discovering artworks amongst the halls in 1930s french style buildings. Tours are available, but not necessary. There is a lovely restaurant on site to relax and take a break – bookings are preferable and a love of bird life necessary if choosing to dine outdoors.
At the time of my visit memorable exhibiting artists included David Moore (painter), Chris Wynne (guitar maker), Simon Baigent (jeweller), Norma Neil (painter) and many more works for sale from another 6 – 8 artists. I saw several works I would have liked to own – but already sold. Reasonable prices – a place that I would be happy to return for another day – very peaceful.
Montsalvat’s history – In 1935 Justus Jörgensen, a student of Max Meldrum, purchased land and with his friends commenced work on the buildings that became Montsalvat. The first buildings were two small ‘French Provincial’ style cottages where they could stay at weekends. By 1938 work had started on the Great Hall. This mainly stone building includes two galleries, a studio and a large dining hall.