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Dobell House marks 50 years


The late Sir William Dobell was one of Newcastle’s most renowned artists, but it’s not just his prize-winning masterpieces through which his legacy lives on.

Dobell House, his former residence in Wangi is preciously preserved by volunteer organisation the Friends of Dobell, and this year marks 50 years since it rallied to save the house.

“The house and assets were to be sold, but Betty Linton said ‘We can’t let it go,’ so she rallied locals and raised enough money to buy the property,” Friends of Dobell Vice-President Sharon Pearl told Newcastle Weekly.

The original 1920’s home still holds a lot of the three-time Archibald Prize winning artist’s original furniture, pallets, easels and even his baby grand piano.

“It was his last residence and studio and it’s historical in the art world to have that,” Ms Pearl said.

“We get people from across the globe visit, from Europe, America and all over Australia.

“People find the energy in the house unique, they go upstairs to the studio and say they can feel him up there.”

30 volunteers currently keep the house open to the public, however with many over 80-years-old, the organisation is looking for younger recruits.

“We really want to keep the place going, but a lot of us are retirees, we have grandchildren and are busy with life.

“Our oldest volunteer is 94, so younger volunteers, particularly those interested in history and art are very much welcome,” Ms Pearl said.

Any new volunteers would be required to attend Dobell House once a month and be invited to participate in an art class every Tuesday morning.

Dobell House is open to visitors between the hours of 1pm and 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, or by appointment.

If you are interested in volunteering, phone Sharon Pearl on 0423 434 372.

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