Funding to preserve Riversdale’s 19th century sketches

National Trust (NSW) property, Riversdale, will receive funding for the digitisation of four sketchbooks owned by Emily Rose Twynam who resided at the property with her family from 1875.

Riversdale has been selected through Round 1 of the 2021 Museums and Galleries NSW grants program. Funded by the NSW Government and Create NSW, the grant is designed to provide assistance to volunteer community museums to help enhance their offering to the public.

Emily Rose Twynam was a gifted artist who drew her inspiration from her garden, the Australian bush and the natural world. In her later years, she took up carving and produced ornate picture frames and handmade furniture decorated with designs drawn from her sketchbooks. Today, her designs adorn the walls of Riversdale and are one of the top things to see when visiting the property.

Born 1845, Emily married District Surveyor, Edward Twynam, in 1866. Several years later, they bought Riversdale, an early 19th century colonial building located in Goulburn, New South Wales. The Twynam family occupied Riversdale for almost 100 years prior to its purchase by the National Trust.

Emily’s four sketchbooks will be digitised and flipbooks produced for display at Riversdale, alongside her finished artworks which they inspired. The drawings to be scanned include detailed Indian ink drawings (kurrajong, oak leaves and acorns, banksia, woody pear, cashew to name a few) of both native and introduced species. Most are dated, and many are annotated with the location in which they were found and even who picked the samples, such as Emily’s grandson, Pax. The digital images will be also available for use in future exhibitions at Riversdale.

Riversdale is scheduled to reopen to the public on 5 September, every Sunday – plan your next visit.