The concept of a museum has changed considerably over the past few decades. It's time to forget the dry and dusty museums of yesteryear, and enjoy a day of the pleasantly unexpected at Heide: Museum of Modern Art.
Heide opened as a museum in 1981 and is set on 16 acres of land. It is a fusion of art and space, of history and modernity, of nature and man-made creation. It is a unique and fascinating place to visit. Even if you're not an art connoisseur, there is plenty of exploring to be done.
The building known as 'Heide I' was originally a dairy farm purchased by John and Sunday Reed in 1934 and is now a heritage listed. They gave the name 'Heide' was to the property as a reference to the nearby suburb of Heidelberg and it became home to the loose collective known as The Heide Circle, a group of modern Australian painters. The Reed's were great supporters of the arts and the house is also of significant art history as it was the site where Sidney Nolan painted all but one of his famous original Ned Kelly paintings. The house is now open to the public but by guided tour only.
'Heide II' was constructed in the 60's and its modernist architecture was considered groundbreaking and it is recognised as one of Victoria's most influential buildings of the past fifty years. It was originally designed as a new home for the Reed's and their art collection, but is now used as exhibition space.
'Heide III' is the newest structural addition, erected to keep up with the growth and expansion of the museum. It provides an extensive exhibition space, houses the Tucker Gift (a collection of over 200 paintings and archives) and a study centre.
Heide's fabulous gardens could also be considered a work of art in their own right. The major gardens include the sculpture -filled Sir Rupert Hamer Garden, the working Kitchen Garden which grows fruits, vegetables and herbs for its residents, and Karakarook's Garden which contains edible native vegetation. Surrounding these gardens is parkland, bicycle and walking paths and the Yarra River.
Running from now until April 8th 2010 is Heide's feature exhibition called 'Cubism & Australian Art.' It is one of the largest exhibitions the museum has ever presented, with works from over eighty artists, tracing the history and impact that Cubism has had on Australian art over the past nine decades. If you're not familiar with the avant-garde movement, why not take the plunge and experience something different and abstract.
It's only a 15 minute drive from Melbourne's CBD. Simply jump on the Eastern Freeway and you'll be there before you know it!