Reopen Charleston

by Charleston, East Sussex


£184,040 raised
1,190 funders

Funded 16 November 2020

0% funded

115% funded

Help #ReopenCharleston!

Join the campaign to reopen the door of the only complete Bloomsbury interior in the world, and help make Charleston a place where everyone can imagine life differently.

We have just 4 weeks to raise £160,000 to adapt, remodel and programme ready to welcome visitors back to Charleston, with every donation you give towards the target worth double thanks to loyal supporters match funding the campaign.

Charleston is a living, breathing work of art, filled at every turn with the creative impulse and vitality of two of the twentieth century’s most radical and influential artists: Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. More than 100 years after Bell, Grant and the Bloomsbury group lived, created, debated, forged friendships and fell in love at Charleston, its far-reaching influence on art, design, literature, LGBTQ+ culture, fashion, economics and feminism continues to be felt around the world.

The dining room at Charleston. Photo © Lee Robbins. 

Almost as soon as Bell and Grant moved to Charleston in 1916 they began to paint, not just on canvas, but on every surface imaginable – walls, fireplaces, tables, chairs, bedheads, bookcases and doors – even the bathtubs weren’t off-limits. The result is a painted portal into an oasis of freedom and acceptance that was decades ahead of the social and aesthetic codes of the day, and where the boundary-breaking artists, writers and thinkers of the Bloomsbury group could be themselves. Over the years, regular visitors included Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, T.S. Eliot and Lytton Strachey, among others.

Angelica Garnett (far left) with Duncan Grant, Virginia Woolf and Lydia Lopokova having a tea party in the Charleston garden in the 1930s. Photo © The Charleston Trust.⁣

Charleston stands testament to Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s progressive and pioneering spirit. Help us raise £160,000 to #ReopenCharleston and secure its future as a centre of creativity and radical thought and art, where everyone can imagine life differently.

We're over 25% of the way to being able to #ReopenCharleston

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far Read more

Decades before Judy Chicago's 'The Dinner Party', The Famous Women Dinner Service came to the table

One of the rewards available if you donate to help #ReopenCharleston is a replica of a prototype plate that Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant designed for the Famous Women Dinner Service. But what is the Famous Women Dinner Service, and why is it so significant? Read more

We have 13 days to go and £42,498 still to raise, can you give to help #ReopenCharleston?

Every pound you donate to help #ReopenCharleston will enable us to adapt our buildings and visitor experience to be Covid-secure, to plan, develop and deliver our exhibitions and events programme for 2021, and to share Charleston's house, garden, collections and programme with more people through digital content Read more

Behind-the-scenes of Charleston's extraordinary collection

There's more to Charleston than meets the eye as our Head of Collections, Research and Exhibitions Dr Darren Clarke reveals Read more

Thank you for getting us to 105%!

Thanks to your overwhelming support, our campaign to #ReopenCharleston next spring has hit 105%. There's still a week left to donate and enjoy some exclusive rewards! Read more

You did it!

We're thrilled that our campaign to #ReopenCharleston has exceeded its target, and cannot wait to welcome you back in spring 2021! Read more

Reopen Charleston project and rewards update

Spring is the season of rebirth, and here at Charleston we're busy getting ready to reopen our doors, and are working with Art Fund, our artists and suppliers to put the finishing touches to your rewards Read more

We can't wait to see you soon!

We're #ReopeningCharleston on 19 May and tickets are now on sale for house and exhibition visits, plus our new open-air programme of talks and performances Read more

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