“The collection has given us such pleasure over the years and we want to share that joy with other art lovers,” – Charles Justin, founding director of architecture practice SJB.
And sharing is exactly what serious art collectors Charles Justin and his wife Leah have done. In April of 2016, they opened the doors of their private Prahan residence to the public, in a bid to share the couple’s burgeoning collection of over 300 works of contemporary art acquired over the past 40 years…and counting!
Some 17 years on and the pioneering ‘Lyon House Museum’ in Melbourne’s suburb of Kew is still receiving international acclaim. Recognition that both Charles and Leah took as the final push they needed to swing open their own doors last year. Making Melbourne now home to two dedicated house museums.
‘House museum’ is a concept used across the globe. It’s used to describe a unique architectural combination of a private residence and private museum; where ‘museum’ and ‘family life’ are housed together under a single roof.
Enjoying retirement together, they now welcome visitors in to enjoy an authentic experience that is both intimate, personal and reflective of their own passions in the art world. Alongside more established artists, Charles and Leah turn their attention to emerging artists with a special interest in new digital and video works.
It’s been a family affair. Taking after her father, Charles and Leah’s daughter Elisa who is also an Architect, designed the customised the house museum. Located on a corner site in the inner Melbourne suburb of Prahran, the converted apartment block includes a gallery on the second level and residences on the third.
The museum hosts two exhibitions every year which are personally guided by Charles and Leah. With a vision, much broader than their own collection, the Justin’s dedicate one of these exhibitions to showcase art that is not from their collection. Currently on show is ‘Digital: The World of Alternative Realities’.
Viewings are only available through pre-booked tours. JAHM’s exhibition ‘Digital: The World of Alternative Realities’ will run from 16th February until 4th June 2017. Bookings are essential and can be made via the museum’s website here.
Photography credits:Courtesy of Justin Art House Museum, Andrew Wuttke and Megan Dicks.