I don't remember much of Monet's house anymore, but I do remember feeling inspired, and happy that we had made the effort to figure out how to get to Giverny.
The original lemon tree in front of the house
Looking up at the house from the garden
The short documentary on the life of May explains how her family sailed from England to Australia when she was only 4 years old. In Australia, her drawings were noticed right away and by the time she was 12, she was contributing illustrations regularly to the newspapers.
The second video is about how her characters are all based on Australian plants and flowers and the recurring theme saving the plants and environment. The few other visitors that day seemed to be skipping the video, preferring to visit the interiors right away. I'm glad we watched the video first because it brought May Gibbs to life, and made the house visit so much more interesting.
I found it quite curious that her talent was recognized so early on. It turns out both her parents were artists too so when they noticed her talent, they strongly supported and encouraged it.
illustration from here
photos from here
Lita, engaging the guide in deep artistic conversation
The ladies who guide the tours are enthusiastic volunteers all well-versed on the life of May Gibbs. Many of May's watercolor portraits hang in the rooms, but unfortunately I wasn't allowed to snap any shots inside the house. Too bad, I would've wanted to take detailed shots of the nicely-restored interiors.
Photo from here
There's a little coffeeshop on the premises that is also run by volunteers, so sometimes it's open and sometimes it's not.
If I lived in Sydney, I would take Thursdays off and sign up for this art course right away!
I left Nutcote House excited and inspired--and that's from someone who didn't even know any of May Gibbs' characters before coming here!
Aside from being a "museum house", Nutcote is now also a venue that hosts children's birthday parties and weddings.