Find inspiration at these artists' houses and studios
Dive into the creative world of your favourite artist at the house where they lived and worked.
A creative’s home is bound to hold a treasure trove of artistic treats, and these artists’ studios and houses are no exception, celebrating the lives and careers of their famous former residents.
From the richly decorated interiors of Leighton House Museum to Barbara Hepworth’s former studio and garden, lovingly arranged by the artist herself, get up close and personal with the artists at these unique studios and houses.
Designed to be lived in as well as places where the imagination could run free, these spaces all tell us something about their inhabitants' personal lives – the way they liked to live, as well as the way they liked to work. Discover the professional and private habits of artists such as Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and the prolific and famously private painter Frederic Leighton, and peek inside their artists’ homes.
Keep a look out in the future, too, when some of our other favourite artists’ houses and studios, such as the Red House, 2 Willow Road, Gainsborough House and Dorich House, will hopefully be open for visiting once more.
- Greater London
The former home of 19th-century artist Frederic, Lord Leighton, this sumptuous house is a fantastic statement of his vision. Leighton brought back curious finds from his travels along with plenty of inspiration, and visitors can marvel at the dazzling Arab Hall, with its indoor fountain and golden dome, as well as see the Silk Room where Leighton kept his most recent and favourite art purchases. Although Leighton was one of the most famous Victorian artists, few people believed they knew the man behind the polished social persona – his house provides an insight into an incredibly talented yet enigmatic figure.
One of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, Barbara Hepworth lived and worked in the studio on this site, and the studio and garden remain remarkably preserved as they were during her time. On display are the tools she loved to use: her chisels and hammers, as well as her white work apron and a varied selection of works.
By the time George Frederic Watts and his second wife, Mary Watts, commissioned a house in the Surrey countryside in the early 1900s, he was already an established household name. The couple’s country home and studios provided a refuge from Watts’ popularity and the London smog (which led to his bad health). It was a place of great productivity, and visitors can find nuggets of insight into the two artists’ creative processes, a gallery dedicated to the work of Mary Watts, and the original red-brick Watts Chapel.
Nestled in a quiet corner of Cambridge, the former home of Tate curator Jim Ede and Helen Ede houses a spectacular collection of artistic treasures, including works by Joan Miró, Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and many more. Now a thriving modern and contemporary art gallery, Kettle’s Yard is an homage to the vision of this creative couple, preserving their collection and exploring its legacy through exhibitions and events. Jim Ede applied his expert curatorial eye to his home as he did in his career, creating exquisite arrangements that inspired the museum you see today.
Preserving the legacy of one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century, the studios were founded by the artist and his family to encourage an appreciation of the visual arts, and the gardens are home to many of Moore's semi-abstract monumental bronzes. Wander the grounds and buildings where this hugely influential artist lived and worked, including Hoglands, the house that he called home until his death in 1986.
- Isle Of Wight
Once home to the celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, the museum that now occupies the building is dedicated to celebrating her life and work as well as presenting the work of international photographers. In the idyllic Isle of Wight location of Freshwater Bay, the artist transformed what was once an old and unappealing house into her beautiful dream studio, and photographed faces from the local area, her own staff and many visitors within its walls.