The David Roche Foundation

The David Roche Foundation

The David Roche Foundation was established in 1999 by the late Mr David J Roche AM (1930-2013) to be the recipient and custodian of the exceptional collection of antiques, paintings and objets d’art accumulated by him over his lifetime and to be preserved for future generations.

A devoted collector of antiques and fine art, David was acknowledged both in Australia and abroad as a renowned collector. He often referred to himself as an ‘enthusiastic buff’. As such, he was made very welcome by antique merchants from emporiums around the world. His entire life was spent acquiring mostly what he thought essential and all items were acquired with a place in mind.

From toys, money boxes and naïve items to the finest of porcelains, paintings and furnishing items – he loved them all. It is fair to say that David rarely let a day go by without adding another ‘essential’ piece to his collection. It was his heartfelt wish to gift his collection to the people of Australia with a hope that visitors would leave having found a favourite piece to remember.

David always feared that no matter what he had that someone, somewhere would have a far better example. In reality, the collection which he amassed is one of the finest of its type.

Director’s Welcome

David Roche and I were the best of friends for almost 33 years. He established The David Roche Foundation in 1999 to carry out his wish that his collection of more than 3,000 magnificent pieces of decorative and fine art be made available to the public.

On June 3rd 2016, his wish will become a reality with the opening of David Roche’s former home, Fermoy House and a new, state-of-the-art adjoining $5 million museum building to display his exceptional private decorative art collection. David, who spent a significant part of his life on a quest to find the perfect object, would be absolutely delighted to know that the joy he experienced from his collection can now be shared with people from across Australia and beyond.

Acquiring wonderful works of decorative art was one of David’s greatest passions. This passion took David all over the world collecting the best pieces possible. When he was about to add something to his collection, David would know exactly where it should be placed in his home. He was meticulous with the placement of any new acquisitions. All these treasures gave David great pleasure and although intensely private, he would have hoped that each visitor to his museum leaves having found a favourite piece to remember.

The David Roche Collection is of national and indeed, international significance. In recent years, the comment has often been made that David’s collection is the ‘hidden jewel’ of Adelaide.

As South Australia’s newest private house museum, we offer visitors another superb cultural attraction in this State. We look forward to welcoming everyone to The David Roche Foundation – the new resource for the Art tourism industry in South Australia. 

Martyn Cook
Inaugural Museum Director (2015 – April 2019), The David Roche Foundation

Donations, Gifts & Bequests

Over a lifetime, David Roche assembled one of the greatest private decorative arts collections in Australia. It was his wish that the collection and his home be made available to the public in his beloved hometown of Adelaide.

A living collection, David believed that strategic new acquisitions, exhibitions, publications and engaging public programmes were central to the new museum that would be created after his passing. Although he left a generous endowment to see his vision realised, supplementary funding to guarantee the diversity of operations is required.

Your contribution will help The David Roche Foundation reach its full potential to acquire works of art, create innovative exhibitions and offer stimulating talks and events that will add to the cultural life of South Australia.

Donations and gifts can be made at any time and all donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. Please donate online or for further information about supporting The David Roche Foundation, contact Robert Reason, Museum Director on (08) 8267 3677 .

Join Our Mailing List

If you would like to be kept informed of future exhibitions, events and lectures at The David Roche Foundation please join our mailing list.

The David Roche Foundation will only use personal information provided by you for the purposes for which it was collected.
We will ensure that your personal information is not disclosed to any other institutions or organisations.
© Copyright The David Roche Foundation 2021 Website designed, developed by