Northwood home of Lloyd Rees offered for first time
For almost 30 years after the death of the late great n artist Lloyd Rees his studio below his Northwood home remained untouched.
The shelves and benches were crammed with pots and jars full of paint brushes, the walls and window splattered in paint, and his paint smock, a jumper and his trilby hat left draped over his wicker chair.
Until recently, when Rees’ son Alan Rees and his wife Jan decided to sell the family home and the Art Gallery of NSW removed the studio’s contents for posterity.
“There was just no motivation to change it because it’s such a symbolic area of the house,” said Jonathon Rees, grandson of the acclaimed landscape artist.
Rees bought the Cliff Road property in 1934 for ??300, and designed the Italianate villa-style house as his family home with his studio built into the sandstone foundations behind an arched entry.
Rees and his wife Marjory remained there until 1986 when they moved to Tasmania. Marjory died soon after and Lloyd died two years later, leaving his Sydney home to his son Alan.
Jonathon Rees said the family has mixed feelings about selling the house. “We just hope it goes to someone who appreciates it,” he said.
McGrath selling agent Brent Courtney said the property can not be knocked over given it is registered for its historic significance with Lane Cove Council, but has potential to be extended with approval.
Courtney has set a guide of $2.2 million ahead of the December 2 auction. Related: Denis O’Neil joins the who’s who of VaucluseRelated: Maitland’s historic Caroline Chisholm cottage listedRelated: Wanderers’ Paul Lederer scores in Point Piper
Dr Paula Dredge, head of paintings conservation at the Art Gallery of NSW, said once the contents from the studio are analysed and catalogued they are expected to become part of their Artists Materials Archive in the conservation department to be referenced alongside the original materials of other great artists such as Sir Sidney Nolan and Brett Whiteley.
Northwood has long been known for its many artist locals, among them John Santry, George Lawrence and Roland Wakelin, who along with Rees were known as the Northwood Group of painters. Santry’s sketch club in his Northwood home was another feature of the local arts community, and was frequented by a young Brett Whiteley who lived in the suburb next door, Longueville.