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.


HOUSE OF DREAMS | Barking Spider Visual Theatre

Tuesday 12 July 2016 to  Tuesday 20 September 2016

Our HOUSE OF DREAMS tour is an art-based multi-media installation by Barking Spider Visual Theatre.

New room themes will be created, inspired by Carl Jung's dream theories and the history of William Johnston and Fairhall, as an exhibition-house in itself.

As Johnston's collection and exhibition-house are explored, visitors to the HOUSE OF DREAMS will experience the uncanny, the mysterious and the hauntingly beautiful.

Penelope Bartlau and her team of artists respond to the Collection by drawing on their skills and experiences in creating for public museums, for theatre and in-site specific installations.

NEW | ‘Walk & Talk’ 

Join guest curator, Penelope Bartlau, Artistic Director | CEO of Barking Spider Visual Theatre as she discusses the HOUSE OF DREAMS interpretation of Fairhall exhibition-house on

Thursday 21 July 2016 at 6.00 pm
Tuesday 26 July 2016 at 10.00 am

Wednesday 10 August 2016 at 12 noon
Tuesday 6 September 2016 at 10.00 am
Saturday 13 August 2016 at 10.00 am



Tuesday 4 October - Friday 7 October 2016

The Johnston Collection is one again proud to be part of the annual Victorian Seniors Festival. A special exhibition house tour concession price of $20.00 (normally $25.00) will be offered to Seniors during the Festival.

(PLEASE NOTE | Fairhall will be closed on Monday 3 October 2016)

RETURN TO THE CITY | Christmas at The Johnston Collection 2016

Monday 3 October 2016 to Tuesday 31 January 2017

Our wonderful Christmas at The Johnston Collection tour will ‘Return to the City’ and feature the new works by Melbourne-based makers and artists for the first time in over a decade.

Each year a different region in Victoria has become the focus to create new works for this project, based on aspects or items in The Johnston Collection or relating to the life of William Robert Johnston (1911-1986).

This year, The Johnston Collection has commissioned Melbourne-based artists and collectives to create and contribute to our annual exhibition-house tour.

The Johnston Collection has encouraged challenges to traditional making, thinking and practice through contemporary responses to the Collection, along with more traditional responses that reflect historical techniques, materials and making. This exhibition offers an ‘inspired’ interpretation of the Collection.

Artists collectives include Hotham Street Ladies, The GLAD Rappers, and the Melbourne Tapestry Weavers group. Individual artists include Lewis Brownlee, ChiliPhilly, Irianna Kanellopoulou, Robyn Rich, Louise Saxton and Ellen Sorrenson. The makers have been working on their creations for over a year with many individual pieces taking hundreds of hours to complete.

Our annual end of year exhibition always responds to traditional ways of making through contemporary makers’ thinking and practices. This exhibtion will provide creative insights through new works showcased in a remarkable interior, in order to explore new contemporary practice and ideas. This exhibition brings together the work of Melbourne’s contemporary makers in one magnificent show. 

We encourage you to book early for this popular exhibition-house tour. ‘RETURN TO THE CITY’ | Christmas at The Johnston Collection (2016-2017) is not to be missed.

PLEASE NOTE: the opening of our Christmas show has been brought forward a month to Monday 3 October with the exhibition closing a month earlier, on 31January 2017.

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  (4 October 2016– 31 January 2017)

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.