Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm

Watson Road

Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

Prized Possessions

  • Sat 12 November 2022 until Sat 26 November 2022


12 – 27 November 2022

Prized Possessions brings together some of the finest pieces from the National Trust collections and is the first major exhibition of our works including the recently revealed Dutch masterpiece gifted to the National Trust in 1979 as part of the contents of the Woodford Academy in the Blue Mountains.

The painting was in storage for decades until conservation work revealed the signatures of Dutch 17th century painter Willem Claesz. Heda and his son, Gerrit Willemz. Heda and its date, 1640. Cleaning also revealed that beneath the discoloured varnish there was a beautifully preserved, richly coloured painting. So striking is the transformation that the picture seems a new acquisition. This exhibition celebrates the restoration with a focused presentation that includes a short film on the painting’s conservation treatment.

The exhibition will also highlight some magnificent examples from the Trust’s extensive collection from colonial engravings and watercolours and much more. 

image: Willem Claesz. Heda and , Gerrit Willemz. Heda, (Still life) 1640 oil on wood panels Collection: Woodford Academy, bequest of Gertrude McManamey 1979