Leighton House and Sambourne House

Leighton House and Sambourne House Celebrating the work, lives and passions of two Victorian artists and their remarkable homes and creative studios in Kensington.
#LeightonandSambourne
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Leighton House Museum is the former home of the Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896). The highlight of any visit is the spectacular Arab Hall and its striking collection of Syrian tiles from 16th and 17th centuries. Sambourne House is the ‘House Beautiful’ o of Victorian illustrator Linley Sambourne (1844-1910) and his family. The extravagant and eclectic interiors remain practically intact. It showcases a selection of his most memorable works for the Punch magazine as well as Linley’s vast collection of photographs.

Temporarily closed

21/04/2021
Athlete Wrestles With Python FINAL

An Object in Focus #2 Athlete Wrestling with a Python, 1877

An Object in Focus video series explore collection highlights at Leighton House and it is presented by our team of curators and art history experts.

Frederic Leighton, Athlete Wrestling with a Python, 1877
With Daniel Robbins, Senior Curator at Leighton House.

This image of an athlete wrestling a python, from 1877, might not look especially radical to our eyes, but it was thanks to this work that Frederic Leighton was recognised as the pioneer of a movement called ‘New Sculpture’.

We are hiring! A wonderful opportunity to join our team and be part of a very special moment for our Museums. We'd love ...
16/04/2021

We are hiring! A wonderful opportunity to join our team and be part of a very special moment for our Museums. We'd love to hear from you!
Front of House Manager: https://buff.ly/3e5fhM9
Marketing Assistant: https://buff.ly/3gecpiu
Closing date: 29 April

We are hiring! A wonderful opportunity to join our team and be part of a very special moment for our Museums. We'd love to hear from you!
Front of House Manager: https://buff.ly/3e5fhM9
Marketing Assistant: https://buff.ly/3gecpiu
Closing date: 29 April

15/04/2021

Time for Art & #WorldArtDay

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 the scale and realities of digital exclusion in the UK have become even more critical, with children living in disadvantage significantly affected by very limited or non-existent access to technology and data for online formal learning and virtual opportunities for creativity.

In recognition of these challenges, our Time for Art project has been developed to mitigate the impact of digital exclusion, and to support families and young people with limited financial resources to buy arts and crafts materials for creativity at home.
A collaboration with West London Zone and RBKC Looked After Children’s Services. This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Friends of Leighton House and City Bridge Trust and generously supported by Winsor & Newton.
Special thanks to artists Laurelie Rae and Ayesha Gamiet

#timeforart #LeightonWelcomes

15/04/2021

Frederic Leighton & #WorldArtDay

06/04/2021
Clytie (1)

An Object In Focus: Clytie

An Object in Focus video series explore collection highlights at Leighton House and it is presented by our team of curators and art history experts.

#1 Frederic Leighton, Clytie, 1895
With Imogen Pasley-Tyler, Art History guide at Leighton House.
Clytie was Leighton’s final painting, still on the easel when he died in 1896, and whilst it is still obviously figurative, it seems to be the very beginning of something quite modern; using colour and form to explore and evoke human emotion.

Can you spot the differences? 🧐 The Drawing Room at Leighton House is dominated by a large west-facing window and photog...
01/04/2021

Can you spot the differences? 🧐

The Drawing Room at Leighton House is dominated by a large west-facing window and photographs of the time suggest that it was always relatively sparsely furnished. Four large panels by French landscape artist Jean-Baptiste Corot decorated the walls and in the centre of the room hung a mid-19th century Murano glass chandelier.

In Linley Sambourne’s home, the drawing room occupies the whole of the first floor. At the southern end of the room, Sambourne's camera and easel mark the place where he use to work before he moved to his studio on the top floor. The decorative scheme is similar to that used elsewhere in the house, following his eclectic taste and his inclination to mix different styles and objects.

Which one is your favourite?

Can you spot the differences? 🧐

The Drawing Room at Leighton House is dominated by a large west-facing window and photographs of the time suggest that it was always relatively sparsely furnished. Four large panels by French landscape artist Jean-Baptiste Corot decorated the walls and in the centre of the room hung a mid-19th century Murano glass chandelier.

In Linley Sambourne’s home, the drawing room occupies the whole of the first floor. At the southern end of the room, Sambourne's camera and easel mark the place where he use to work before he moved to his studio on the top floor. The decorative scheme is similar to that used elsewhere in the house, following his eclectic taste and his inclination to mix different styles and objects.

Which one is your favourite?

30/03/2021
Facebook Time for Art

It’s Time for Art!

We are excited to announce our new initiative to support children and young people in West London, encouraging creative learning away from computer screens whilst also recognising digital exclusion.

The ‘Time for Art’ gift boxes are packed with original arts & crafts projects (designed by contemporary artists Laurelie Rae & Ayesha Gamiet) and a wonderful array of painting and drawing materials, carefully selected by our friends from Winsor & Newton.

Big thanks to our team of volunteers who last week got hands-on to ensemble 250 boxes (see the pics, don’t they look stunning?). The boxes are being gifted to children attending seven schools located in Kensington and Chelsea (via the WLZ network) and to children and young people living in care or on the edge of care in the borough.

A collaboration with West London Zone and RBKC Looked After Children’s Services. This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Friends of Leighton House and City Bridge Trust and generously supported by Winsor & Newton
National Lottery Heritage Fund Winsor & Newton West London Zone Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea @LaurelieRae

Last month we launched our new video series Calling at the Sambournes’ and over 10K people have watched our first film e...
20/03/2021

Last month we launched our new video series Calling at the Sambournes’ and over 10K people have watched our first film exploring Linley’s love for photography. From today, our Episode 2 is live – are you feeling peckish?

WATCH NOW – “Dinner Invitation 1887: Staging of a Victorian Table”
https://buff.ly/3cRpVW2

Food historian and artist, Tasha Marks and Daen Palma Huse from The Protagonist Magazine discuss 8-course menus at the Sambournes, their humorous approach to table setting and of desserts as the high point to luxuriant Victorian dinners.

A collaboration with The Protagonist Magazine:
Concept by anthropologist Dr Birgitta Huse, art historian Daen Palma Huse and international photographer Ram Shergill. Special thanks to food historian Tasha Marks, founder of AVM Curiosities

Last month we launched our new video series Calling at the Sambournes’ and over 10K people have watched our first film exploring Linley’s love for photography. From today, our Episode 2 is live – are you feeling peckish?

WATCH NOW – “Dinner Invitation 1887: Staging of a Victorian Table”
https://buff.ly/3cRpVW2

Food historian and artist, Tasha Marks and Daen Palma Huse from The Protagonist Magazine discuss 8-course menus at the Sambournes, their humorous approach to table setting and of desserts as the high point to luxuriant Victorian dinners.

A collaboration with The Protagonist Magazine:
Concept by anthropologist Dr Birgitta Huse, art historian Daen Palma Huse and international photographer Ram Shergill. Special thanks to food historian Tasha Marks, founder of AVM Curiosities

We loved working with Brixton Life Drawing - thank you to everyone who joined the first session of Draw & Tour last nigh...
12/03/2021

We loved working with Brixton Life Drawing - thank you to everyone who joined the first session of Draw & Tour last night and keep an eye for more special evenings coming up!

We are delighted to collaborate with Brixton Life Drawing for the launch of their new Draw & Tour online series.At a tim...
05/03/2021

We are delighted to collaborate with Brixton Life Drawing for the launch of their new Draw & Tour online series.

At a time where our beautiful museums and art galleries remain closed, this new series offers exclusive virtual access to very special places (like Leighton House!) and gives everyone the opportunity to immerse into the world of Life Drawing!

📅 THURSDAY 11 MARCH, 7-8:30pm (GMT)
🆓 These sessions are free but donations are highly recommended - 20% of the proceeds of this first evening, will go to The Friends of Leighton House
BOOK 👉 https://buff.ly/2NXpAZL

The class is suitable for all abilities- whether you're the next Lord Leighton or haven't picked up a pencil in years. Just grab some paper and any drawing equipment you can get your hands on and join us for a Draw & Tour experience.

We are delighted to collaborate with Brixton Life Drawing for the launch of their new Draw & Tour online series.

At a time where our beautiful museums and art galleries remain closed, this new series offers exclusive virtual access to very special places (like Leighton House!) and gives everyone the opportunity to immerse into the world of Life Drawing!

📅 THURSDAY 11 MARCH, 7-8:30pm (GMT)
🆓 These sessions are free but donations are highly recommended - 20% of the proceeds of this first evening, will go to The Friends of Leighton House
BOOK 👉 https://buff.ly/2NXpAZL

The class is suitable for all abilities- whether you're the next Lord Leighton or haven't picked up a pencil in years. Just grab some paper and any drawing equipment you can get your hands on and join us for a Draw & Tour experience.

25/02/2021

When Frederic Leighton commissioned George Aitchison (1825-1910) the design and realisation of his dreamy home in London, he had designed no houses. Nevertheless, his involvement with the artist’s house extended over 30 years and changed his career radically.

Through his work for Leighton he was engaged by a series of wealthy and artistically inclined clients to remodel and decorate the interiors of their London homes. Sadly very little of this work has survived and Aitchison's reputation has largely gone with it. But as both Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy and President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Aitchison was a prominent and respected figure in the architectural world of the late 19th century

👇See Aitchison’s beautiful drawings featuring his vision of the Arab Hall, undoubtedly the jewel of Leighton’s house, and the Silk Room, adjacent to the artist's work studio.

@RIBAarchitecture

As part of an extensive project of rebranding and in preparation for the reopening of the 'new' Leighton House this Autu...
23/02/2021

As part of an extensive project of rebranding and in preparation for the reopening of the 'new' Leighton House this Autumn, we are currently developing a brand-new website for both Leighton House and Sambourne House (formerly known as 18 Stafford Terrace).

We are currently running a study to help inform the new design of the Museums website and we are looking for participants to take part.

CAN YOU SPARE 10 MINUTES?

All you have to do is:
👉Click here to access the study https://buff.ly/2ZL8gJs

🧐Answer some quick questions to help us understand who uses our website

✅Complete an easy interactive activity

💬Provide with further feedback for specific areas of the project

❤ THANK YOU 💙

As part of an extensive project of rebranding and in preparation for the reopening of the 'new' Leighton House this Autumn, we are currently developing a brand-new website for both Leighton House and Sambourne House (formerly known as 18 Stafford Terrace).

We are currently running a study to help inform the new design of the Museums website and we are looking for participants to take part.

CAN YOU SPARE 10 MINUTES?

All you have to do is:
👉Click here to access the study https://buff.ly/2ZL8gJs

🧐Answer some quick questions to help us understand who uses our website

✅Complete an easy interactive activity

💬Provide with further feedback for specific areas of the project

❤ THANK YOU 💙

18/02/2021

Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print, first implemented in 1842 by the English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel. It became popular in Victorian England and was extensively used by Linley Sambourne to assist with his cartooning.

Inspired by the striking pictures by international photographer, Ram Shergill, we have replicated the original process that Sambourne would have been followed in his studio-house.

🎥 WATCH our step-by-step demonstration as part of Episode 1 of the Calling at the Sambournes' video series, a collaboration with The Protagonist Magazine.
(Over 10K people have watched it already!)

https://buff.ly/3p4TQhx

#HOMEINSPO TO CELEBRATE THE CHINESE NEW YEARThe varied collection of Chinese ceramics at Sambourne House ranges from dec...
12/02/2021

#HOMEINSPO TO CELEBRATE THE CHINESE NEW YEAR

The varied collection of Chinese ceramics at Sambourne House ranges from decorative plates, baluster vases and coffeware sets. The traditional blue and white pieces come richly decorated with foliage and blossom motifs, Chinese characters and warriors in Ming style.

A highlight in the collection is a black lacquered table cabinet, filled with Marion Sambourne's sewing accessories and calling cards. Decorated on each corner with engraved copper, the drawers are painted with red and gold designs and its butterfly motifs suggest that the cabinet may originally have been a Chinese wedding cabin.

Linley and Marion keenly advocated for the use of foreign or 'exotic' influences in the decoration of their home. In an interview in 1893, Linley declared:

"We have lived in this house ever since we were married and it has taken years to accumulate whatever treasures we possess. What you see is the very best. That has been my principle throughout; not to buy anything but what was really good'.

Happy Chinese Ney Year!

#HOMEINSPO TO CELEBRATE THE CHINESE NEW YEAR

The varied collection of Chinese ceramics at Sambourne House ranges from decorative plates, baluster vases and coffeware sets. The traditional blue and white pieces come richly decorated with foliage and blossom motifs, Chinese characters and warriors in Ming style.

A highlight in the collection is a black lacquered table cabinet, filled with Marion Sambourne's sewing accessories and calling cards. Decorated on each corner with engraved copper, the drawers are painted with red and gold designs and its butterfly motifs suggest that the cabinet may originally have been a Chinese wedding cabin.

Linley and Marion keenly advocated for the use of foreign or 'exotic' influences in the decoration of their home. In an interview in 1893, Linley declared:

"We have lived in this house ever since we were married and it has taken years to accumulate whatever treasures we possess. What you see is the very best. That has been my principle throughout; not to buy anything but what was really good'.

Happy Chinese Ney Year!

09/02/2021

📣NEW VIDEO RELEASED!

We are excited to launch a new series exploring Sambourne House through curated films and extraordinary conversations. Featuring experts in art, photography, anthropology and food history, Calling at the Sambournes' draws inspiration from all things Victorian with a contemporary twist.

WATCH NOW: Episode 1 - "The Cartoonist’s Camera: A View into Linley Sambourne’s World of Illustration and Cyanotype"
https://buff.ly/3p4TQhx

Linley Sambourne was a prolific graphic artist and chief cartoonist for Punch. Photography became an indispensable aid to produce his exquisite illustrations and in this film you’ll discover more about his ‘new found love’. Don’t miss a step-by-step demonstration on how to create your own cyanotype print at home, replicating the same delicate process that Sambourne would have followed in his Kensington home.

In partnership with The Protagonist Magazine 💛

06/02/2021

It has been a while since we featured our beloved Linley Sambourne in here, however we have been working tirelessly 'behind the scenes' to create something very special launching next week.

Until then, what about a little taster with 5 interesting facts about 'Lin':
1. He combined his work as a Chief Cartoonist for Punch with exquisite commissions for illustrated books, including Charles Kingsley’s 'Water Babies'.
2. He wrote daily entries in his diaries, documenting a fascinating life at his Kensington home, 18 Stafford Terrace.
3. A devoted family man, he was married to Marion for 36 years and he adored his children Roy and Maud.
4. His 'House Beautiful' mirrors his extravagant personality and contains an eclectic collection of art and decorative objects, which remain practically intact today.
5. An avid photographer, his key camera became an indispensable aid for his cartooning and over 15,000 of his photographs are now part of our archive.

Want to know more? Watch this space & save the date for a 'Calling at the Sambournes' next week!

⚠️VOLUNTEERS WANTED⚠️Are you a young person living in #kensingtonandchelsea with some free time to spare? Are you lookin...
02/02/2021

⚠️VOLUNTEERS WANTED⚠️

Are you a young person living in #kensingtonandchelsea with some free time to spare? Are you looking for volunteering opportunities for your Duke of Edinburg award?

At Leighton House, we are developing a new project called Let’s All Get Creative to help households in need. Our 'Creativity Boxes', filled with arts and crafts materials and arts projects, will support children, young people and adults alike to learn and share their thoughts, feelings and ideas through creativity.

We are currently looking for young people living in the Borough to help us pack these boxes from home. Would you give us a hand?

📧Please get in touch today via [email protected] - just add 'Let's Get Creative' in the subject of the email.
Thank you!

#LeightonWelcomes #childrensmentalhealth #expressyourself #GivingTuesday

@RoyalBorough

⚠️VOLUNTEERS WANTED⚠️

Are you a young person living in #kensingtonandchelsea with some free time to spare? Are you looking for volunteering opportunities for your Duke of Edinburg award?

At Leighton House, we are developing a new project called Let’s All Get Creative to help households in need. Our 'Creativity Boxes', filled with arts and crafts materials and arts projects, will support children, young people and adults alike to learn and share their thoughts, feelings and ideas through creativity.

We are currently looking for young people living in the Borough to help us pack these boxes from home. Would you give us a hand?

📧Please get in touch today via [email protected] - just add 'Let's Get Creative' in the subject of the email.
Thank you!

#LeightonWelcomes #childrensmentalhealth #expressyourself #GivingTuesday

@RoyalBorough

Address

12 Holland Park Road
London
W14 8LZ

High Street Kensington / Kensington Olympia Buses: C1, 9,23, 27, 28, 49, 328 Parking: Metered car parking is limited on Holland Park Road and surrounding streets. The Holland Park car park off Abbotsbury Road is approximately ten minutes' walk away.

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Our Story


  • We celebrate two unique Victorian artists: Frederic , Lord Leighton (1830-1896) and Edward Linley Sambourne (1844 - 1906)

  • Through their work, lives and passions and the remarkable homes and studios they created, we devise and deliver inspiring and inclusive ways into a world of art, history and creativity rooted in Victorian London.

  • Our dynamic programmes are for everyone, and include music, exhibitions and events, exploring these houses, their collections and the story of the surrounding artistic community, known as the ‘Holland Park Circle’.

  • We preserve and care for this legacy for the enjoyment and enrichment of present and future generations, while revealing meaningful connections with the contemporary world.
  • Nearby museums