Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD. This site is a backup to Federation-House.wikispaces.com, which closed down in 2018. The new Federation-House.com site links to these blogs, but many old links to the Wikispaces site are unfortunately still present.
Nutcote House of May Gibbs, Neutral Bay NSW
May Gibbs’ Nutcote
May Gibbs (1877-1969) MBE
Cecilia May Gibbs was one of Australia’s foremost children’s authors and illustrators and is best known today for the iconic Australian children’s story, The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, featuring two gumnut babies and their escape from the big bad Banksia men.
The plot of land for Nutcote was found for May Gibbs by her mother, Mrs Cecilia Gibbs in 1922 on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour.
May’s instructions to BJ Waterhouse were to design and build a house which would have compactness, convenienceand charm.
It was purchased for 1,365 pounds with a 500 pound deposit.
The final design, completed in 1924, was one of the smallest residences ever designed by Waterhouse, who later suggested that May name the house Nutcote.
Construction was completed by the builder F E Gray, in 1925, when May was 48 years old and the total investment in the site and house by then was 5,000 pounds, with the property being mortgaged until 1953. The house was specifically designed to accommodate May’s studio and reflected her lifestyle, needs and priorities.
The Nutcote house itself is the most precious part of the Nutcote collection. May Gibbs lived and worked at Nutcote until her death in 1969 producing her famous comic strips Bib and Bub amongst other things while there.
Nutcote is nestled on the harbour at Neutral Bay and has great views of the Harbour Bridge too. Nutcote has been preserved for the nation as a historic house museum. This picturesque harbourside cottage has been designed to tell the story of the life and times of one of Australia’s premier children’s authors and illustrators.
May Gibbs lived at Nutcote for 44 years (1925-1969) and it was here that she created her famous characters in the studio overlooking her Australiana garden.
The Nutcote House Museum has been set up in late 1920/1930s style, in keeping with the Arts and Crafts design of the house. Furniture and items on display are from that era relating to photographs available of how May and J.O decorated the house.
On display in the studio is May’s Studio desk that she worked at for most of her artistic life! The collection focuses on her postcard series created for World War 1, first edition books
as well as copies and originals of May’s artworks.
A visit to Nutcote will introduce you to the wide range of artistic practice May enjoyed;
from her illustration for front covers of the Sydney Mail, landscape and portrait works as well as the famous children’s book stories and illustrations depicting those adventurous little gumnut babies within the majestic Australian bush.
“Nutcote has a place in the hearts of many local residents and we are pleased that this grant from the Federal Government has helped to preserve this iconic building,” said North Sydney Mayor, Genia McCaffery.
This picturesque harbourside cottage has been designed to tell the story of the life and times of one of Australia’s premier children’s authors and illustrators.
May Gibb’s Nutcote – http://mgnsw.org.au/sector_development/may_gibbs_nutcote/
May Gibbs’ Nutcote – http://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/www/html/4054-may-gibbs-nutcote.asp
May Gibbs’ Nutcote – http://www.nutcote.org/
May Gibbs (1877-1969) MBE – http://www.maygibbs.com.au/index.php/about-nutcote/may-gibbs
http://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/resources – C O N S E R V A T I O N M A N A G E M E N T P L A N