Australia’s oldest artists’ community, Montsalvat is home to over a dozen buildings where art is created, taught, displayed and celebrated. A self-supporting facility in Melbourne, Australia, Montsalvat has a detailed history that reflects the life of Justus Jorgensen and where various exhibitions, festivals, concerts, workshops and artists’ residencies take place.
Meander through Montsalvat’s peaceful garden area, and enjoy a day of exploring exhibitions. Evoking a European ambience, visitors can take a self-guided tour and peek through the large bay windows in the Upper Gallery, admire wooden uprights in the Barn Gallery, and find 21st century artwork hidden amongst the lush canopy of trees. The artwork here is found in the form of anything from glass to ceramics, textiles and jewellery craft, all nestled in the buildings lovingly created from locally available materials. After soaking in the unique blown glass in the Residents Gallery, unwind at the on-site Boulevard cafe, where tuna and spiced potato croquettes pair well with a refreshing glass of wine.
Located just 26 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD, Montsalvat is easily accessed from major points throughout the city with a journey of around 30 minutes. Public transportation is available, with the quickest route found from Eltham Station to Montsalvat in less than a 10-minute journey. To access Eltham Station via a train, visitors will find a variety of routes that frequently run from Melbourne CBD suburbs.
Founded by Justus Jorgensen, a trained architect, the land where Montsalvat is located was purchased in 1934. With a name created from both English and German mythology, it is inspired by a combination of German opera and the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, where Montsalvat is featured as the location of a fabled Holy Grail.