Arts & Culture

Art and antiques, history and heritage mansions

The Mornington Peninsula boasts a vibrant and flourishing arts scene.

One such coup is the celebrated Archibald Prize, which will be shown in Victoria exclusively at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in spring 2014. Often controversial and never dull, the Archibald is awarded annually to the best Australian portrait, ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics’.

Galleries of all kinds

But don’t wait till then to explore our galleries and cultural icons. McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park’s $150,000 acquisitive sculpture award has become the most important biennial outdoor sculpture exhibition in Australia, and has created an outstanding collection of works.

With 10 interlinked spaces, Manyung Gallery is one of Victoria’s largest contemporary galleries, and there are dozens of smaller, very individual galleries and studios… Gordon Studio Glass Blowers create the most magnificent glass art that finds its way around the world… Marion Rosetzky Gallery is known for exquisite handpainted tiles… Whitehill Gallery represents many Peninsula artists.

Many little galleries and much public art now define Frankston, where the Frankston Arts Centre hosts performing arts, family shows and comedy.  But equally as strong as the contemporary arts scene is the Mornington Peninsula’s cultural history. Victoria’s first European settlement was established  near Sorrento in 1803, and the state’s second lightstation was built at Cape Schanck in 1859 (it still operates much as it did originally). Point Nepean played a critical defence role from the 1880s through both World Wars, and its historic Quarantine Station is now open to visitors.

Take a cultural stroll

History also lives on in modest colonial homes and grand mansions, such as the humble 1844 McCrae Homestead of pioneer times, and the stately 1895 Coolart Homestead with its bird-filled wetlands.  Opulent Mulberry Hill was once home to artist Sir Daryl Lindsay and Joan (Lady) Lindsay, author of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’; while 1863 Beleura, once the Tallis family summer home, is known for its rich furnishings and antiques and the beauty of its gardens.    Explore the Sorrento Portsea Artists Trail to discover how artists over the past hundred years and more have perceived the Mornington Peninsula.  The trail takes an unique look at the views that inspired them, and the art that was inspired.  MORE>>

Create your own collection

If you’d like to add to your own antique and furniture collection, the Factory Antique Market is just one of many antique, collectable and vintage clothing stores in Mornington Peninsula villages including Dromana, Tyabb and Mornington.  Fans of local craftwork should try these two popular markets: Red Hill Community Market (first Saturdays, September to May); Mornington Racecourse Market (second Sundays year round). 

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