Historical information

"Villa Alba is of significance for the outstanding late Victorian painted decoration throughout its interior. The consistently high standard of design in the decoration, and high, and at times, superb quality of its execution, the variety of illustrative techniques, the variety of illusionist effects and the hierarchy of treatments between the rooms of the house all contribute to the significance. The decorative scheme is also of significance as a fine example of the work of the leading Melbourne decorators, the Paterson Brothers. It is one of their first interiors to depart totally from the use of pre-prepared wallpapers of repetitive designs and it is a rare and comprehensive extant example of their domestic work. The decorative schemes in the ground floor hall, the dining room, the drawing, the vestibule, the stair hall, the upper hall, bedroom 1 and the boudoir are also individually of significance as outstanding examples of Victorian decoration.." (Victorian Heritage Database, 2023)


This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers (1905-1973), donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian from the 1960s to the 1970s.

Physical description

Original print monochrome photograph of a section of the drawing room ceiling in 'Villa Alba', Walmer Street (Kew)

Inscriptions & markings

Annotation on reverse: "Villa Alba ceilings. [Stamp - The Royal Women's Hospital, 212 Cardigan Street, Carlton. With Compliments of Public Relations Office]"