Lyon Housemuseum . Kew

photos: Lyons . Dianna Snape . bustler

The Lyon Housemuseum is a private house
and private art collection located eight kilometres east of Melbourne in the residential suburb of Kew.
The house displays selected works from the Lyon Collection of contemporary art which includes paintings, sculpture, video work and installations by many of Australia’s leading contemporary artists.
The Housemuseum and the Lyon Collection are open for public viewing, strictly by appointment, during designated visiting periods each year.

The Housemuseum also offers educational tours and programs for Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 school students and sponsors an annual series of art and architecture talks and music events.
In 2000 Corbett Lyon and Yueji Lyon built on their interests in contemporary art and architecture and developed the concept of a ‘housemuseum’ to accommodate their family and the Lyon Collection.
A site in Cotham Road Kew was purchased in 2001 and work began on the design and planning of the new building.

The Lyon Housemuseum builds on a long lineage of private art collections in residential settings including Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, New York’s Frick Collection, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and the Reed Collection at Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art.
The Housemuseum presents works from the Collection in a combination of museum scaled spaces and residential settings, juxtaposing paintings and installations with the house’s living spaces and domestic furniture.

The Housemuseum is designed around a two storey ‘white cube’ at the front of the building and a two storey ‘black box’ at the rear. These act as anchors for the house and are used for exhibiting paintings, sculpture, video work and large scale installations.
The family living areas flow around these museum spaces and accommodate further artworks, architectural drawings and artifacts intermixed with the domestic settings of the house.
Through the juxtaposition of art and living the Lyon Housemuseum challenges conventional perceptions of ‘public’ and ‘private’ – is this a private house or museum, or something in between?

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