The Johnston Collection
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The Johnston Collection
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Exhibition-house Tours

The Johnston Collection is administered as an independent not-for-profit museum by The W R Johnston Trust.

PLEASE NOTE:    A $3.50 booking fee applies for online bookings. This covers banking costs and fees charged to us by our ticketing provider for online sales.  An $8.00 booking and administration fee applies for telephone bookings.  Thank you for your understanding.


Click on the blue arrow to the right of the screen to scroll through the calendar. 

Exhibition-house Tours descriptions appear below the calendar.


JOYFUL & TRIUMPHANT: Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2015-2016

Thursday 5 November 2015- Tuesday 23 February 2016

This year our wonderful Christmas at The Johnston Collection tour will include contributing groups, societies, guilds and individual artists from the Gippsland region.

Participants include Bairnsdale Lacemakers, Cooinda Hill; Fusion FAN Inc.; Gum Leaf Quilters | Churchill Neighbourhood Centre; Latrobe Country Guidance Group; PAGE | Paper Art Gippsland East; Primary Patchworkers of Sale; Riviera Quilters; Sale Lacemakers; The Bond Family;The Cake Decorators Association of Victoria; The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria (Leongatha Country Group); The West Gippy Group (Members of the Baw Baw Arts Alliance) | Bbaandit Yarners; and independent artists Susan Cock; Heather Costigan; George Crone, Marion Dawson; Beryl Farr; Cheryl Kane; Jackie McNamee; Gwenneth Poore and Jenny Romano.

They will come together to create a wonderful new arrangement for Fairhall house-museum’s, JOYFUL & TRIUMPHANT:  Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2015-2016 exhibition. Christmas comes spectacularly to life with superb creations, not just decorations, based on the life and collection of William Johnston and the story of Christmas. This tour is not to be missed.

JOYFUL & TRIUMPHANT:  Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2015-2016  is supported by Creative Gippsland, a collaborative cultural tourism network

Can’t visit us during the week?  Here are the dates for our after hours tours for JOYFUL & TRIUMPHANT: Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2015 - 2016

Saturday 14 November 2015 
Saturday 21 November 2015
Saturday 5 December 2015
Saturday 12 December 2015
Saturday 9 January 2016 
Saturday 13 February 2016 

Thursday 26 November 2015 
Thursday 17 December 2015
Thursday 21 January 2016 
Thursday 18 February 2016 

image: detail Temari, 2015, wrapping, embroidery, appliqué, weaving and traditional Japanese Temari stitching, by members of The Bond Family


Friday 11 March 2016 to Tuesday 28 June 2016

Our Rearranging William Johnston's Collection series offers an opportunity to see William Johnston's collection through another person's eyes and aesthetic.  For this tour we have invited Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie of international design studio, HECKER GUTHRIE, to give us their response to our most spectacular and intriguing collection. Hecker and Guthrie are highly respected members of the Australian design community, renowned for a large body of work that draws on their expertise in integrating interiors, buildings, objects and gardens.

In HECKER GUTHRIE REARRANGE WILLIAM JOHNSTON’S COLLECTION, Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie will apply their extraordinary design skills and serendipity to the rearrangement of Fairhall and William Johnston’s magnificent collection.

ART AND SOLE | St Crispin at The Johnston Collection.

Tuesday 8 March 2016    7.00 pm to 10.30 pm    $173 pp
Wednesday 9 March 2016    7.00 pm to 10.30 pm    $173 pp

Indulge in a wandering feast of five contemporary courses with matched wines from Saint Crispin, whilst discovering the delightful Georgian and Regency splendour of The Johnston Collection, East Melbourne.

The patron saint of cobblers comes to the home of a boot-maker's son, as Saint Crispin of Collingwood take over The Johnston Collection in East Melbourne. 

The inspiring seasonal cuisine of Joe Grbac will be presented as five roving courses, with matched wines, whilst guests are guided around the exquisite Georgian and Regency interiors of Fairhall exhibition house.

Bookings can be made through the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival webpage


Our Menu Tours offer further ways to visit and enjoy The Johnston Collection. Choose one of these specialised guided exhibition-house tours and discover even more intriguing insights that are sure to nourish the mind.

DATES and times don’t suit? Call us and we can organise another suitable time for a group of four of more.

Fairhall & Flowers

Monday 18 April 2016, 12 noon
Tuesday 24 May 2016, 12.00 noon
Wednesday 15 June 2016, 12.00 noon

Let the flowers bloom! Be beguiled by the beauty of botany and the language of flowers on this new exhibition-house tour. Fairhall is full of flowers and foliage, floral and plant motifs used as embellishment and patterns on objects to bring the outside in all year ‘round.

detail from Swansea potteries, vase, Wales, circa 1815-1820, (A0643-1989)

Staffordshire Stories

Monday 4 April 2016, 12.00 noon
Thursday 19 May 2016, 12.00 noon
Thursday 23 June 2016, 12.00 noon

Staffordshire Stories offers visitors the opportunity to focus on the Staffordshire figures that were of special interest to William Johnston and explore a wide variety of the popular and intriguing historical subjects they represent.

in the manner of the Parr factory, Staffordshire potteries district, figure (standing elephant with a mahout and leopard), England, circa 1850, The Johnston Collection (A0446-1989)
photograph by Mark Chew | Mark Chew Photography

Unlocking The Collection

Tuesday 26 April 2016, 12.00 noon
Monday 16 May 2016, 12.00 noon
Monday 6 June 2016, 12 noon

By ‘unlocking’ the doors, lids and covers of objects, this specially developed tour offers visitors the opportunity to see hidden aspects and interior details of items in Fairhall.

detail from Jean-David Fortainer (active 1730-1778) and Jean-Charles ELLAUME (active 1754-1780), bureau plat, France, 1745-1749, (A0029-1989)


Visitor Information

Weekday Tour Times:

10:00 | 12:00 | 2.00

After Hours Tours:

Second Saturday at 10:00 and 12:00
Third Thursday at 18:00

Christmas at The Johnston Collection Tour Cost  (5 November 2015– 23 February 2016)

Adult $27.00 | Concession $25.00 | Group Rate $23.00 per person group of 8 or more (max 22) After Hours $35.00

Weekday Tour Cost (March 2015 - October 2015):

Adult $25.00 | Concession $23.00 | Group Rate $21.00 per person group of 8 or more (max 22) |After Hours $32.00

Individual and group bookings available. Please note when booking a group online, enter the number of people in the Adult field and the Group Rate will be automatically calculated.

Confirmed bookings are essential.


A $3.50 booking fees applies for online bookings.  This covers banking costs and fees charged to us by our ticketing provider for online sales.  An $8.00 booking and administration fee applies for telephone bookings.   Thank you for your understanding.

Online and telephone booking fees do not apply to current members of The Friends of The Johnston Collection.

Telephone bookings 03 9416 2515


Organisation and Club Bookings Policy

Telephone us on 03 9416 2515 for more information or download a copy of our policy here:

Organisation_and_Club_Bookings.pdf Organisation_and_Club_Bookings.pdf (60kB)

Visiting The Johnston Collection

The Johnston Collection is the legacy of William Johnston, an antique dealer and collector. He left his estate to the people of Victoria for their education and enjoyment. The collection ranges from the 17th to the 19th century and has great strengths in Georgian, Regency and Louis XV furniture, Empire and decorative arts.

To protect the privacy and parking rights of Mr Johnston's residential neighbours, we are not permitted by our planning permit to publish the address of the museum.

On the day of the appointed visit, visitors will be collected from the foyer of the Pullman Melbourne on the Park hotel (formerly the Hilton on the Park Hotel) at 192 Wellington Parade, near the Fitzroy Gardens. Visitors are brought to the Johnston Collection in a courtesy bus operated by our staff. This arrangement is due to planning permit stipulations and adds a little intrigue to your visit that we know you will enjoy.

All tickets are prepaid and tea/coffee and shortbread are served to guests on arrival. From the time of collection to the time of return to the Pullman Melbourne on the Park hotel your tour will take approximately one and a half hours.

We allow a maximum of 22 people on guided tours.

Disabled Access

Wheelchair access to Fairhall is limited. There are 3 steps to the entrance and 19 steps which must be ascended in order to reach the first floor. Disabled car parking is not available. Please make us aware of the special needs of any member of your group in advance of your arrival so that we can offer every assistance.

Please ring 03 9416 2515 for more information.