Main House 2019

Retford Park Rehung – The Art of Collecting

9-24 November 2019,  see Rosalie Gascoigne, Sidney Nolan, Margaret Preston, Brett Whiteley, Grace Cossington Smith, Jeffery Smart, Arthur Boyd, John Olsen, Tony Tuckson, and more.

Retford Park Main House - Lounge: tour the house and see the exhibition November 2019

Main House: see it rehung 9-24 November 2019 during The Art of Collecting. (Works seen here are not part of the event.)

This spring the home of the late Mr James Fairfax AC, Retford Park, will again be a celebration of art. Fairfax gifted this inspiring property in 2017 to the people of Australia via the National Trust. Now, each spring, the walls of Retford Park are rehung. This 9 – 24 November 2019, join us for The Art of Collecting, an exhibition and a full program of events. Fairfax’s nephew, Edward Simpson, once said, “Much of James’ life was not of his own choosing, but his collection of art certainly was.”

Justin Miller at Retford Park

To ensure the calibre of this exhibition meets the high standard of Fairfax’s collection, the National Trust of Australia (NSW) looked to Justin Miller of Justin Miller Art.

Justin was the Chairman of Sotheby’s Australia for over ten years. He is currently one of Australia’s most trusted art advisors for private and corporate art collections, and he will both curate and provide the works for the main house.

With much of Australia’s fine art at his fingertips, Justin has secured a diverse and impressive range for the exhibition.  Importantly, Fairfax also collected many of the artists in the exhibition.

*All of the works are available for purchase.

A tribute to the Fairfax legacy

For Fairfax the power of collecting art, probably his greatest passion in life, was also an extraordinary act of philanthropy. He prodigiously funded many art institutions, including state galleries and the National Gallery of Australia.

It is not often that the character and strength of a public art collection can be changed by a single individual. But this is exactly what James Fairfax did with the extraordinary wealth of works of art he donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. These donations have transformed the earlier European collection from the conventional to the quite splendid.

Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Scott Pollock, Manager of Retford Park, knew this event must also support the arts and culture, a tribute to the Fairfax legacy. The Art of Collecting is a fundraiser for both the National Trust of Australia, and the upcoming Southern Highland’s Regional Gallery, which will be based at Retford Park.

Full program during November

For more ticket information, visit the National Trust website.

Retford Park aims to keep ‘collecting’ alive with a full program of events:

  • Two magnificent dinners for 40 people. Held in the Morning Room in the main house. These dinners include an open ended discussion with the likes of Justin Miller and other art luminaries.
  • Two high end dinners in the famous Retford Park dining room. Enjoy Retford Park and The Art of Collecting in high style.


  • Daily tours,
  • Sunset tours that finish with champagne and canapes.

For more information, contact Scott Pollock, Manager of Retford Park: 02 4861 1933.