Charlotte Smith and Benjamin Thomas

Visions of Colonial Grandeur

Visions of Colonial Grandeur explores Melbourne’s international exhibitions through the art collection of 19th-century businessman John Twycross. Twycross, also known as Top Hat, was a merchant and art collector who lived and worked in ‘Marvellous Melbourne’. In this boom period of the 1880s, a confident Melbourne hosted two international exhibitions where the best and latest in trade and culture was seen by millions in the newly built (Royal) Exhibition Building.

John Twycross was an enthusiastic participant in the growing Melbourne art market and, during his frequent visits to the international exhibitions, purchased hundreds of exquisite fine art objects and paintings. He built a collection that was treasured by three generations of the Twycross family, and that is now part of the Museums Victoria collection.

This unique book features both archival photographs and colour images of some
of the beautiful and significant artworks in the Twycross collection. It is also a detailed and insightful study of the development of a collection, exploring the world of the international exhibitions and the thriving art trade in 19th-century Melbourne.
  • Authors: Charlotte Smith and Benjamin Thomas
  • Publisher: Museums Victoria Publishing
  • Date of Publication: 1st July 2014
  • ISBN: 978 1921 833 236 (Paperback)
  • Number Of Pages: 168
  • Format: Paperback
  • Dimensions (cm): 26.0 x 20.0
  • Age range: General