The latest from The Johnston Collection


Acclaimed East Melbourne exhibition-house The Johnston Collection warmly welcomes Dr Louise Voll Box as CEO and introduces a new exhibition A Home of One’s Own.

The Johnston Collection (TJC) is a hidden gem in the leafy surrounds of East Melbourne. TJC features an astonishing array of fine and decorative arts from the 1600s to the 1900s and was a gift to the people of Victoria from antique dealer and East Melbourne real estate investor, William R. Johnston (1911-1986). Johnston’s premises, Kent Antiques in Armadale, set the tone for British-inspired interiors in Melbourne.

Current TJC exhibition, A Home of One’s Own, at historic townhouse, Fairhall, brings together objects, collections, and design inspirations that have developed over many years, but continue to resonate today. Visitors will discover antiques and much-loved decorative pieces that draw on iconic designs of the past, combined to create an inviting, intimate, and timeless expression of “home”.  



This special rearrangement is inspired by a 2008 exhibition at TJC curated by renowned Melbourne-based interior designer, Robert Thomson, formerly director at design firm Riddell Marly. During the past 10 years of his life, William Johnston entrusted Robert to undertake special projects at Fairhall, and Robert is now a valued ambassador of TJC.

TJC recently welcomed a new CEO, Dr Louise Voll Box, who was appointed in July 2023.

Louise’s background encompasses business and the arts, and her experiences in strategic planning, leadership and arts education bode well for the future of the museum.

“It is an honour and privilege to lead the next exciting chapter in the evolution of TJC in partnership with such a dedicated team of staff, volunteers, and supporters,” Dr Voll Box said.


I’d particularly like to thank the East Melbourne community for their warm welcome, and I look forward to welcoming local residents as they re-discover inspiring art and experiences at TJC.


Visiting TJC is an intimate experience. Visitors enjoy a guided tour of the historic townhouse and collection led by knowledgeable volunteer guides, and view beautiful objects arranged in a domestic setting without ropes or labels.

As Fairhall is located in a residential area, TJC’s address cannot be published, but that only adds to the mystery!

Visitors are welcomed at Pullman Melbourne on the Park and arrive at the museum via a courtesy bus – only a five-minute journey.

A Home of One’s Own is open until February 11, 2024. The Johnston Collection is open Wednesday to Sunday for pre-booked tours.  •

For more information and to book your visit, visit or phone (03) 9416 2515.

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