Mr John Twycross was a wealthy Melbourne wool merchant who collected fine art during the 19th century and the collection has stayed in the family until present day. The collection has been gifted to Museum Victoria by his great grandson Dr Will Twycross of Mansfield and I was privileged to be present when he gave a very enjoyable lecture of its history. The exhibition on display includes vases, sculpture, carvings, paintings, and some porcelain and lacquer boxes. Also included is a large wall print of the original Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.
The centerpiece of the exhibition features three authentic 19th century Japanese woodblocks. These are exceptional examples of Japanese woodblocks that were so influential in the development of late 19th century early 20th century European Art.
It is recommended that everyone who can should attend the Gallery and inspect this exhibition.
In his lecture Dr Twycross covered many subjects associated with the exhibition and was happy to digress on to peripheral history that was occurring when his great grandfather was alive. We learned that the word Japan means in Japanese shiny black lacquer. The Japanese do not call themselves Japanese. A similar thing also relates to China. We learned that after the Great Exhibition closed in Melbourne the outbuildings were demolished and the wood was used to build Victorian Railway Stations. We were reminded that a lot of country railway stations had the same look as the Exhibition Buildings. Dr Will Twycross obviously has a great knowledge of Colonial Victorian history and it was an enjoyable privilege to listen to his lecture.
If Dr Will Twycross agrees to give another lecture I would urge people to attend.