Leighton House consists of three buildings: the tower-like Arab Hall (built 1877-81), the main building (built 1865 and extended 1869-70) and the winter studio at right (built 1889-90). Picture from Google Street View. Click to enlarge.
Leighton’s studio, where he made most of his paintings. Picture from Europa Nostra (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Click to enlarge.
The opulent Arab Hall is decorated with Leighton’s collection of 1,000 tiles from Syria, Turkey, and Persia, and is based on a twelfth century Moorish-Norman palace called La Zisa in Palermo. Picture by Kotomi Creations (CC BY-NC 2.0). Click to expand.
A Kensington Society event:
Leighton House is re-opening!
Join us for an exclusive evening
When: Wednesday 9 November 2022, 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Where: 12 Holland Park Road, W14 8LZ
After an £8m restoration, Leighton House will finally re-open on 15 October and we are lucky enough to have secured an exclusive visit in early November for 60 of our members!
So do join us to have a glass of wine and see what has been done on a tour hosted by senior curator Daniel Robbins, supported by assistant curator Hannah Lund. And, if you have never been, this is a golden opportunity to discover one of the gems of Kensington.
We will also be able to see two new temporary exhibitions: Artists and Neighbours: the Holland Park Circle, and A Life in Drawing: Highlights from the Leighton Collection in the new downstairs gallery.
Frederick Leighton (1830-1896), was one of the leading painters and sculptors of his day, being first part of the Academic school, but from 1860 increasingly drawn to the Pre-Raphaelite circle. In 1864 he became an associate of the Royal Academy of Arts (he would later be its president for 18 years). The same year he acquired a plot on the edge of Holland Park and the following year the building of his studio house began. It was to combine spaces for working, living and entertaining, and was to undergo four more major revisions before he was satisfied.
Initially the house consisted of a dining room, breakfast room and drawing room on the ground floor, and a large painting studio, with its huge north facing window, and a small bedroom on the floor above. Later extensions included an enlargement of the studio, followed by the Arab Hall with its remarkable 16th and 17th century tiles, the winter studio with its glass walls and ceiling aiming to increase light access, and finally the Silk Room which was to be a gallery displaying works by Leighton and his friends.
The restoration works, which began in 2019, focussed on expanding the museum within the building’s and, with a new staircase extension and lift, has provided step-free access across the whole building.
We are sure there will be a big demand for this very special evening so sign up early, as the the number of participants is limited to 60.
Members £15.00, non-members £35.00
Not a member? It’s only £20 for a whole year – and for anyone becoming a member now, the first year will run until 1 January 2024. If you want to take advantage of this offer, become a member immediately by first registering and paying on our membership page before booking your ticket below.
Please make your booking online. You do not need a PayPal account to do so.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to a glitch in our payment system, when you reach the page for payment options (after having entered the names and email addresses of those attending on the previous page), you MUST press the PayPal button under “Method of Payment”, although PayPal is the only available option, BEFORE you press the “Proceed to Finalize Registration” button. If you don’t, you’ll get an error message. However, if that happens you should be able to proceed anyway by closing the error message (just click on the X in the upper right-hand corner of the message window) and then selecting the PayPal button before you once again press the “Proceed to Finalize Registration” button.
Leighton in his studio ca 1882. Picture from the Leighton House website. Click to enlarge.
Two of the many pictures on display in Leighton House: A self portrait from 1880 and “Orfeo & Euridice” from 1864. From Wikipedia. Click to enlarge.
Leighton House is situated on Holland Park Road, west of Holland Park.
Page published 10/10/2022, updated 24/10/2022