The creative legacy of Mulberry Hill and its special connection to the Archibald Prize

Mulberry Hill, is one of the National Trust of Australia’s (Victoria) treasured properties, nestled in Langwarrin South on the picturesque Mornington Peninsula. This enchanting estate was once the cherished abode of renowned writer Joan Lindsay and her husband, the accomplished artist and National Gallery of Victoria director, Sir Daryl Lindsay.

Mulberry Hill holds an indelible connection to the Archibald Prize, making it an essential stop for art enthusiasts and history buffs visiting this year’s prestigious portrait exhibition on the Mornington Peninsula.

The Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery is hosting this year’s regional tour of the celebrated Archibald Prize, showcasing 57 captivating portraits that capture the essence of public figures and cultural luminaries from diverse walks of life. This year’s selection reflects the captivating stories of our times and represents a pinnacle of Australian portraiture.

Sir Daryl Lindsay was painted three times as an Archibald Prize subject in the years 1923, 1940, and 1958. Notably, George Bell’s 1923 portrait of Sir Daryl Lindsay was a finalist and can be admired within the walls of Mulberry Hill during the month of October.

Sir Daryl Lindsay’s profound influence extended beyond the canvas. He served as the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria from 1941 to 1956 and was knighted in 1957 for his invaluable contributions to Australian Art. Sir Daryl also played a pivotal role in the founding of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in 1956 and served as its inaugural president, securing his place in Australian cultural history.

Equally remarkable, Lady Joan Lindsay, a prolific writer, left an indelible mark with her iconic novel, “Picnic at Hanging Rock.” Her autobiographical work, “Time without Clocks,” provides a fascinating insight into the Lindsay’s life at Mulberry Hill and offers valuable commentary on the arts and social history of the era.

Today, Mulberry Hill stands as a testament to the Lindsay’s creative spirit. The house is a living time capsule, preserving Joan Lindsay’s writing room, complete with her original typewriter, and Daryl Lindsay’s studio, where his artistic prowess thrived. Exploring this historic property is akin to stepping back in time to an era where creativity and culture thrived under the loving care of two extraordinary individuals.

Mulberry Hill, with its storied past and its unique connection to the Archibald Prize, invites all art and history enthusiasts to discover the rich tapestry of Australian heritage within its walls. As we welcome the Archibald Prize’s presence on the Mornington Peninsula, we also celebrate the enduring legacy of Joan Lindsay and Sir Daryl Lindsay, whose contributions continue to shape our nation’s artistic landscape.


Plan your Visit

To mark Archibald Prize coming to the Mornington Peninsula, the National Trust will offer special openings of Mulberry Hill during October on Sundays 8, 15 and 22, offering an exclusive opportunity for visitors to delve into the rich history of this remarkable property. The property is open 11am to 4pm (last entry at 3.30pm) and tickets can be purchased on arrival. National Trust Members receive free entry.

The Archibald Prize 2023 Regional Tour is on show at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery until 5 November. Further information and tickets can be found here.

Guest writers


Guest writers

Writers from the National Trust community share their stories and expertise.