Norman Lindsay was a prolific artist, celebrated both while he was alive and after his death. He was also a writer, with one of his most well-known works being the children's book The Magic Pudding, which he also illustrated.
Knowing people would be interested in his work after he passed away, Lindsay made sure he left his home to the National Trust so it could be turned into a gallery. Today, the house, his studios and the rest of the 42 acre property are all open to the public and can be visited every day between 10.00am and 4.00pm.
The first thing you'll probably do upon arrival is take a look at the gallery, since it's also where you pay the admission fee ($12.00). Lindsay's prolific output is immediately apparent here in the variety of mediums and styles, which range from drawings, oils and water-colours to model ships. You can also take a look at the kitchen, which still has its original fittings.
To get inside the studios, you will need to join one of the guided tours. These take place frequently throughout the day and are included in the price of admission.
The first studio you visit on the tour is the one where Lindsay did his painting, which has been set up to resemble a real studio. In the middle of the room two unfinished paintings stand on easels, giving you an idea how Lindsay produced all the works in the gallery (it seems he sketched each picture, then paint over it).
The other studio was used for etching and is more like a traditional gallery. Information and pictures line the walls, an etching press sits in the middle of the room and a cabinet at the end.
The explanation of the etching process confused me, but I was interested in the story of the building's past. It was once the home of Lindsay's daughter Jane, and was actually built before the Lindsay's realised the land wasn't within their boundaries (but they quickly purchased it, not telling the absent owner that they had already built there).
This studio include a room dedicated to The Magic Pudding, where you can find paintings of each character. It's a nice addition to the tour, which takes around 45 minutes, and once you've taken a look at everything, you can grab something to eat at the Lindsay's Cafe, which is right next door.
The rest of the grounds include a whole lot of sculptures and fountains by Lindsay.
There's also the pool on the edge of the bush, which Lindsay built too.
Beside the pool there is the beginning of a walk that takes you out to some rocky ledges where you can take a look at the surrounding bush, before curving back to end at the rear of the grounds (which is quite barren of trees, hedges, seats and sculptures and had me at first thinking I had come out in the wrong place).
There's definitely enough to see at the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum to satisfy any visitor, but if you want to add another level to your experience, I recommend reading Jane Lindsay's Portrait of Pa, which recounts her childhood here. Knowing the stories behind the house, the sculptures and everything else will make it all so much more alive.
Where: 14 Norman Lindsay Crescent, Faulconbridge, New South Wales, 2776
When: 10.00am to 4.00pm, seven days a week (closed Christmas Day)
Cost: Adults $12.00, Concession $10.00, Children (6-12 yrs) $6.00
Phone: 61 2 4751 1067