The Hardwick Family Collection of Art & Antiques

Betty and Dowell Hardwick moved forty years ago to 2 Shoreham Rd Shoreham, which was originally one of the oldest houses in Shoreham, settled by the pioneering Kennedy family in the 1860s. Having spent many enjoyable times at Balnarring with their family for school holidays since the 1950s, they looked forward to moving permanently to this house in 1976, after renovations were completed.

In their ‘retirement’, but far from retiring, they had time to explore the pleasures of collecting, now that their busy professional careers over, and time to travel around the country. Betty and Dowell became avid collectors, of art and antiques including, paintings, watercolours, books, furniture, and objects.

135The collection reflects so much of their interests: a great love of the Mornington Peninsula and of Westernport, in particular the rural landscapes and seascapes of the area, an appreciation they shared with many of the prominent Australian artists who captured sea views and country life in their works.

They both shared a passion for the sea and any water-related activities: Dowell had a lifetime love of sailing, which he resumed after his experience as navigator on a destroyer in the Second World War. Sailing was a pastime he pursued first at Balnarring, then later when living at Shoreham, when he and Betty sailed around Westernport, spending many weekends at sea. Dowell also enjoyed many fishing trips. Their love of the sea and boats is reflected in the marine paintings of different periods and media, which feature throughout their collection. Meanwhile, Betty was able to devote time to her love of gardening and cooking.

Together, they shared a wide-ranging appreciation of music and art, both traditional and modern, poetry and literature including the classics and Shakespeare.  They also developed an interest in theatre and history, which was fostered by their travels throughout Australia and overseas, and is evident in their diverse book and art collection.

Dowell, the resourceful, practical handy man – as evidenced in the range of tools and equipment in his workshop – spent some years meticulously restoring Australian timber furniture.  Alongside this, Betty and Dowell had an appreciation of the fine lines of modern Scandinavian furniture.

Dowell spent some of his time working the farm, in particular cattle farming, hay cutting and ‘bee keeping’ – being an apiarist became his “second career”.  Their home was one where many were welcome: visitors to the property were invited to share bee knowledge and experience with ‘the honey man’ of Shoreham.   All who came enjoyed their wonderful, diverse and personal collection of paintings, books and furniture.  Now, it is with great pleasure that the Hardwick family open the doors to Dowell and Betty’s home and give the clients of Leonard Joel the opportunity to share in the enjoyment of their lifelong collection.

By Deane and Carol Hardwick


Sunday 21 February 2016 at 11am
2 Shoreham Road, Shoreham, Victoria

Friday 19 February 10am-5pm
Saturday 20 February 10am-5pm
Sunday 21 February 9am-10.30am

Guy Cairnduff | 03 8825 5611 | 0407 828 137 | email

View catalogue here