David Bromley · Chapel St Studio Collection Auction

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Monday 12th November 2012

David Bromley’s unique studio space overlooking Chapel st, Prahran.

David Bromley’s unique studio and gallery space in Chapel st, Prahran.

I still remember the very first time I visited David Bromley‘s magical studio space above Chapel street in Prahran.  It was for a book launch, around 3 years ago.  It was a weeknight, I was a bit under the weather, I could hardly be bothered driving across town in the rain to get there.  But when I finally reached the discreet entrance to this grand three storey Victorian premises, with its crumbling ornate facade, kitsch gargoyles and twinkling chandeliers on the first floor balcony… I knew this was no ordinary event.  As I stepped up the painted checkerboard staircase to the first floor, the bustle of Chapel st instantly seemed a world away.  I know it sounds very dramatic, but it truly was an Alice in Wonderland experience, the kind you wake up from the next morning, wondering if it had all been a dream.

That evening, the penny kind of dropped.  Given time to experience his incredible collection of art, antiques and ephemera en masse in this vast, dilapidated, fantastical setting, I realised that David Bromley’s aesthetic genius actually runs far deeper than his own creative output.  Love him or loathe him, as a collector, curator and kind of Willy Wonka-esque creative visionary, you just have to give credit where credit is due!

I recount this story now, because Melbournians have a rare opportunity this week to see Bromley’s incredible Chapel st premises for the very last time.  This unique space, which has served for the past five years as David Bromley’s studio, gallery and private space for meetings and gatherings, is open to the public this week only, as a viewing space for the final dispersal of David Bromley’s personal art and design collection.  Having re-located to Byron Bay, Bromley is shedding the last of this impressive collection, and is also seeking expressions of interest for the leasehold of the unique property at 280 Chapel street Prahran.  YES that’s right, another creative individual or corporation now has the opportunity to pen a new chapter in the colourful history of this iconic Melbourne building!  AMAZING!

The Chapel Street Studio houses the final pieces from Bromley’s extensive art, furniture and antiques collections.  Of course Bromley’s own work is well represented, but so too are other highly collectible artists whose work Bromley has collected and enjoyed over the years – including David Band, Cherry Hood, Adam Cullen, Zhong Chen and many more.

Leonard Joel will be auctioning off The David Bromley Chapel Street Studio Collection this Sunday 18th November at 11.00am.  Viewings within this space are scheduled all this week.  LAST CHANCE to see it, people… I might even sneak in for a second look myself!



Sunday 18th November 11.00am
280 Chapel Street


Wednesday 14th Nov – 10.00am – 4.00pm
Thursday 15th Nov – 10.00am – 4.00pm
Friday 16th Nov – 10.00am – 4.00pm
Saturday 17th Nov – 10.00am – 5.00pm

View catalogue here.  All enquiries re: the auction and /or leasehold of the space to be directed to Leonard Joel.

David Bromley’s unique studio and gallery space in Chapel st, Prahran.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Monday 12th November 2012


  • Elle 4 years ago

    O.M.G :o

  • I want to live in that space *sigh*

  • Vintage Movement 4 years ago

    Loved the Bromley sale last year… what an amazing collection, looking forward to it!.
    Tina :)

  • Kath W 4 years ago

    Oh, this is so otherworldly.

    What a lovely post to come to on a Monday morning.

  • Kath W 4 years ago

    PS: I almost forgot: lovely story in the weekend paper about you, Lucy. Made me appreciate this is YOUR personal blog: not a design mag. I guess a lot of people now feel they have a stake in it: hence the robust reactions sometimes. Congratulations.

  • Barbara 4 years ago

    Right, I’m not eating this week so that I can save my pennies for the auction.

  • Sara 4 years ago

    Wow! I too have been lucky to visit David’s studio…sad to hear he is moving on, but I hope the next “guardians” respect the building’s integrity and artistic heritage. It is definitely one of those “if the walls could talk” places…there are even physical reminders of Arkley’s time as a working artist there. A precious part of Melbourne’s history.

  • I’ve only visited once but too was awestruck that such a hidden place could exist just behind that little door. It was my ‘secret garden’ moment I guess. I tell people about it all the time, but words can’t really describe it. That balcony on a summer’s eve is incomparable! Not to mention the goodies the space plays home to for a little while longer.

    My fingers are well and truly crossed that the next resident can retain the building’s many charms.

  • alexandra 4 years ago

    every time i see pictures of this space i am amazed. it doesnt get better than this.

  • Claire 4 years ago

    Thanks so much for finally solving this mystery!!
    This is my favourite building in Melbourne and I had wondered for so many years who owned such a fabulous space!

  • nicole sanders 4 years ago

    what a magnificent studio. hopefully the new owner will also cherish this beautiful building.

  • BusiChic 4 years ago

    amazeballs. in every way.

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