Christian's Waller House

Ivanhoe, VIC, Australia; Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Est. --- / 20 mins / Map

Christian's Waller House - Cya On The Road

Built in Ivanhoe in 1922, Waller House was both a home and workplace for its residents. Now managed by the National Trust, the property has kept many of its original custom-made furnishings as well as the personal possessions and artwork of its former occupants.Waller House is predominantly associated with Napier Waller, a prolific muralist and stained-glass artist whose work can be seen throughout Australia. Tours at the house focus primarily on Napier’s life and career. Visitors remember Napier’s studios, his stained-glass designs, his mosaic tiles, and his apron hanging on the wall. Those who visit the property remark on a strong sense of Napier’s presence and personality within its walls.The same cannot be said for Napier’s first wife, Christian.Christian, who was a successful artist in her own right, designed Waller House and much of its interior decoration with Napier. She was a distinguished painter, illustrator, print maker, and stained-glass artist. She and Napier shared an artistic vision and often influenced or assisted each other with their work. Christian has art displayed in major galleries and public buildings, most of which was created at Waller House. Yet while Napier Waller’s presence remains strong in public memory, few people have heard of Christian Waller. She is made almost invisible in the home she created. This is not helped by the fact that Napier’s second wife, Lorna, removed almost all images, objects and artworks created by or depicting Christian following her death in 1954.This program takes us through key moments in the life and career of Christian Waller, tracing her artistic development, her relationship with Napier, and examining some of her significant works of art, most of which were created at Waller House. In connecting her lived experiences with her art and her home, we can appreciate Christian’s contributions to Australian art history, and reinterpret this heritage site as more than just ‘Napier Waller’s House’. This program is part of an assessment for the subject 'Museums, Heritage and Society', for the Master of Cultural Heritage at Deakin University. A full bibliography of sources are provided in an additional essay. All images are referenced on their corresponding 'exhibit' pages, and are also noted in the bibliography. Image:i. Heritage Council Victoria, Waller House [image], (n.d.) < https://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/602>.

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