Sunday, January 2, 2011


To the North of Melbourne, in the suburb of Eltham is the artists colony of Montsalvat. Named after the legendary home of the Holy Grail, Montsalvat was founded in the 1930's by the artist Justus Jorgenson, and the name Jorgenson stills resonates around the area. Today , for instance, we saw an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Michael Jorgenson, taken on his travels over the past 50 years. Besides paintings of areas of Australia, there were many of European spots which brought back some memories as places we've visited before.

The magnificent Great Hall of Montsalvat

Montsalvat has a rich history itself and is an architectural dream, reminding me in its ethos of Portmeirion village, made famous by the TV series, The Prisoner. It is a living artists colony, with studios, galleries, a restaurant and beautiful architecture all housed within the grounds. Today, there are all sorts of artists working there, from painters and sculptors, to jewellers, musicians and more unusual art forms such as guitar making, violin and flute making and wine making.

You never know who you'll meet in this magical place!

For visitors it is a treat to walk around the gardens and buildings, see exhibitions, and working spaces, and even the odd peacock that roam around the grounds. There is a small entry fee that I was happy to pay knowing that it would go to help upkeep this excellent place.

 Montsalvat has its own chapel.

 Through a beautiful arch, a view of an artists workshop

Back view of the Great Hall and surrounding complex.

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