WE can only wonder what Sir William Dobell would have made of this afternoon tea at his former home and studio in Wangi Wangi.
Given the late artist’s reputation as a knockabout bloke who often opted for the simple things in life, we reckon he’d have been mightily impressed.
After all, Sir William once served boiled eggs to his visitors the NSW Governor, Sir Roden Cutler, and his wife, Lady Cutler, in makeshift egg cups fashioned from an empty toilet roll that he cut into halves.
On Thursday, there was a far more elaborate spread on offer for visitors to the lakeside house.
John Sheehan, the president of the Sir William Dobell Memorial Committee, which runs the house as a museum, said the function was staged to celebrate the listing earlier this year of the home on the State Heritage Register.
“This is our thank-you to the people who have helped us along the way to achieving the listing, which was the culmination of three years of hard work,” Mr Sheehan said.
The listing ensured the house was protected, he said.
“I think that’s tremendously important because it confirms to the world at large that Dobell House is important,” he said.
Under the terms of the listing, it’s not just the house that is protected, but so is the land from the back of the house down to the water’s edge.
“We’re very pleased about that because the views from the house were so much a part of Dobell’s work.”
The function paid tribute to the museum’s volunteers, including life member Joan Duff, who marked her 19th year of service.
Mr Sheehan also gave guests an abridged version of the presentation that he and his wife Juanita give to the scores of tour bus passengers who visit the museum every year.
Mr Sheehan said locals had immense fondness for Sir William – who at one time was Australia’s most famous artist – and for the house.
The afternoon tea was paid for by a local woman who was so impressed by her visit to the house that she wanted to contribute when she overheard the committee was planning a celebration.
- Visit dobellhouse.org.au