Making History from a House: The story of Vaucluse House as a museum

Museums of History NSW research curator, Dr Paige Gleeson, will explore how Australia’s first publicly owned house museum, Vaucluse House, was for much of the 20th century, conceptualised and operated as a museum of Australian history and as a site to pay tribute to the memory of William Charles Wentworth.

Dr Gleeson will discuss how Vaucluse House’s role as museum evolved over time as it reflected and responded to events and developments shaping history, heritage and Australian society in the 20th century.

This curator-led tour offers a unique perspective into an important period in the history of Vaucluse House that is often overlooked, and in doing so, asks us to consider the ways in which institutions construct histories through curatorial practice, memory and public commemoration.

Members get more: Members enjoy pre-sale access and 20% discount on tickets.

Wentworth Road, Vaucluse NSW 2030

Vaucluse House

Wentworth Road, Vaucluse NSW 2030
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  • Sunday 8 September 11am–12pm
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Photo of the Wentworth mausoleum with tabled light coming through the trees

Wentworth Mausoleum perimeter fence conservation

MHNSW is undertaking the first comprehensive conservation works to the fence surrounding the 1870s resting place of William Charles Wentworth

William Charles Wentworth (c1860)

Putting Wentworth to rest

Edward Champion describes the massive public funeral of William Charles Wentworth and explains why Sydney-siders mourned in such unprecedented scale

Black and white photograph of Vaucluse House with large fig tree and vine covered verandah

The leprechaun in the garden

Most of us have some childhood memory – or something half-imagined, half-remembered – of a garden of seemingly infinite adventure, far from the reasonable world of grown-up things

Lavishly draped windows behind drawing room furniture.

Reviving Vaucluse House

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