Lyon Housemuseum

Lyon Housemuseum

The Lyon Housemuseum is a private house and private art collection located eight kilometres east of Melbourne in the residential suburb of Kew.

The Housemuseum displays selected works from the Lyon Collection of contemporary art which includes paintings, sculpture, video work and installations by many of Australia's leading contemporary artists.

The Housemuseum and the Lyon Collection are open for public viewing by appointment on designated visiting days each year.

The Housemuseum is also offers educational tours and programs for university and school students and sponsors an annual series of lectures and talks on art and architecture.

In 2000 Corbett Lyon and Yueji Lyon built on their interest in contemporary art and architecture and developed the concept of a 'housemuseum' to accommodate their family and the Lyon Collection.

A site in Cotham Road Kew was purchased in 2001 and work began on the design and planning of the new building.The Housemuseum builds on a long linage of private art collections in residential settings including Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, New York’s Frick Collection, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art.

The Housemuseum presents works from the Collection in a combination of museum scaled spaces and residential settings, juxtaposing paintings and installations with the house's living spaces and domestic furniture.

The Housemuseum is designed around a two storey ‘white cube’ at the front of the building and a two storey ‘black box’ at the rear. These act as anchors for the house and are used for exhibiting paintings, sculpture, video work and large scale installations.

The family living areas flow around the museum spaces and accommodate further artworks, architectural drawings and artefacts intermixed with the domestic settings of the house.

Through the juxtaposition of art and living the Housemuseum challenges conventional perceptions of 'public' and 'private' and explores new relationships between art and architecture.


The Housemuseum was designed by Corbett Lyon and his award winning Melbourne architectural firm Lyons. In 2010 the building won the Australian Institute of Architects Harold Desbrowe-Annear Award for Residential Architecture and was exhibited at the 2010 World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.

The design interweaves and juxtaposes conventional domestic and museum typologies to create a scenographic landscape for the display of artworks and for the daily living needs of the family.

The ground floor spaces are designed so that they flow seamlessly through the zones of the house and open out onto a series of landscaped private courtyards and sculpture gardens.

The first floor of the Housemuseum is more enclosed and inward focused with internal windows and openings framing vistas into and through the building's interior spaces.

A cladding of dark grey zinc wraps the angular form of the building expressing its hybridised 'house' and 'museum' program.

About the Collection

The Lyon Collection was established in 1990 following a visit by Corbett Lyon to the Albert Tucker retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1990. Interested in purchasing a work by Tucker Lyon made a visit to the artist’s dealer gallerist Georges Mora at Tolarno Galleries in South Yarra. Mora instead persuaded Lyon to invest in the work of young contemporary Australian artists and to consider building a collection of works by these artists who were his contemporaries.

The first works in the collection, ‘Nude in a Landscape, 1989’ by Linda Marrinon and‘Orange Building Site, 1990’ by Louise Forthun, were acquired for the Collection in early 1990.

Now in its twenty fourth year, the Lyons’ private collection includes works by many of Australia’s most recognised contemporary artists including Howard Arkley, Patricia Piccinini, Callum Morton, Brook Andrew, Daniel von Sturmer, and Shaun Gladwell. The Collection includes paintings, sculpture, large scale installation works and video art.

Lyon Housemuseum
219 Cotham Road (corner Florence Avenue),
Kew, Victoria, 3101

The Housemuseum can be accessed by private car, taxi or by public transport.

219 Cotham Road  Kew Victoria 3101 | View Map New Window
New Window Telephone: +61 3 9817 2300

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