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Leighton House Sambourne House

Latest news

Discover the latest news and exciting developments from our museums

Replica of Leighton's letters on display in his bedroom, Leighton House.

Reopening Our Doors

We are delighted to announce that both of our museums will reopen on Saturday 15 October, following the major Hidden Gem to National Treasure redevelopment project at Leighton House and conservation works at Sambourne House. 

Advance tickets to visit and to join our programme of events will be released soon. Some of our new spaces will be accessible for free and you won't need to book, including the brand-new Tavolozza Drawings Gallery, collection displays and of course, the De Morgan Café.

We look forward to welcoming you back!

Tickets will be released soon - sign up to our e-newsletter to be the first to hear

We Are Hiring!

Our museums are currently recruiting for a Senior Visitor Experience Officer who will be responsible for welcoming and engaging visitors and shaping our public face. This means input to every part of the visitor journey, from our ticketing system to our new online shop offer. It is also a busy role behind the scenes, ensuring that everything runs  smoothly. An exciting and varied role that offers hands-on connection with every aspect of managing a heritage attraction.

Apply here
 

Leighton House awardedHands on Islamic Art grant

Leighton House are thrilled to have been awarded one of The Barakat Trust’s new Hands on Islamic Art grants!

In partnership with The Arab British Centre and award-winning textile artist, Nour Hage, the project will explore Islamic textiles and their influence in the UK during the 19th century.

We look forward to getting started later this year!

Thank you to The Barakat Trust and National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting this collaboration.

Hidden Gem to National Treasure: Project updates

We are delighted to finally say that the main project works in the new wing at Leighton House have been completed. Focus is now on the fit out of the Learning Centre and the replanting of the garden, which already looks more green and glorious than ever!

In the coming weeks, the first installation trials of our new displays will be taking place and important conservation projects will be carried out. In particular, a set of photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), one of the most important and innovative portraitists of the 19th century, and aunt of Holland Park Circle artist Valentine Cameron Prinsep, who was a close friend and lived next door to Leighton for 30 years.

These projects have been made possible thanks to the support of The Friends.

The Hidden Gem to National Treasure project focuses on the unsympathetic 20th-century additions made to Leighton’s home and will provide the museum with improved visitor facilities, new exhibition spaces, a purpose-built collections store and a dedicated learning suite. 

New main entrance at Leighton House, with tiling detail. Images courtesy of Nick Caville, BDP and Dirk Lindner

Leighton House receives a Places of Science grant

We are delighted to announce that Leighton House has been awarded a grant by The Royal Society in its Places of Science scheme to engage communities with their local science stories.

The funding will support our Exploring Sound and Creating Music learning programme, led by renowned composer and musician Maya Youssef. The programme is aimed at local children under 11 years old, with particular emphasis on those from families displaced by the Syrian war. Through six participatory workshops, the children will learn about how sounds are made, how they travel and how we measure them. They will also explore how instruments work and why different instruments make different sounds, with special focus on the qanun – the string instrument for which Maya is famed for playing. The programme will run at Leighton House when it reopens later this year.

Places of Science aims to celebrate projects that will evoke curiosity, interest and enthusiasm by exploring science in a creative way, while also contributing to the museum sector’s recovery. The projects awarded span topics like mental health, infectious diseases, engineering and palaeontology, and provide a hands on way to explore and engage with science.

Leighton House partners with Maya Youssef

Leighton House are thrilled to announce a new partnership with ‘queen of the qanun’, Maya Youssef.

A globally renowned and award-winning musician and composer from Syria, Maya has pushed the boundaries of the qanun (a 78 stringed plucked zither traditionally played by men) with performances for the Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms and The Barbican, to name just a few.

Leighton House have commissioned Maya to compose a new piece of music inspired by the house, which will be performed live in Leighton’s studio when the museum reopens, and launch a collaborative programme of creative events, made possible thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Maya has recently won the PRS Women Make Music Grant and Arts Council Project for the Arts funding towards recording her second album ‘Finding Home’ which will be released 25 March 2022, followed by a UK tour combined with refugee community workshops.

We look forward to sharing further updates about our partnership with Maya. Keep your eyes, and ears, open.

Proud to announce our partnership on International Women's Day (8 March 2022), read more about the women both past and present who have helped to shape the artwork, collections and history of our museums in The women who made us.

Maya Youssef with her qanun ©IGORSTUDIO

New Sambourne House collection highlights on Smartify

From satirical illustrations and delicate paintings, to colourful wallpapers and a myriad of objects, including a liqueur box and detective camera - the collections at Sambourne House are representative of the taste and life style of its owners, Victorian illustrator Linley Sambourne and his wife Marion. The Sambournes lived in their 'House Beautiful' for over 36 years and the interiors remain practically untouched today.

Although Sambourne House is currently closed while we finalise some much-needed conservation and repair works, you can explore its  extraordinary collections on the free mobile platform, Smartify, where we have just launched a new selection of seventy seven objects and artworks that you'll be able to see in person when we reopen later this year.

 

Browse the Sambourne House collection on Smartify

Explore our new online Shop

Exhibiting the best in contemporary design and artisan craft, our new online shop is inspired by the homes, work and collections of Frederic Leighton and Linley Sambourne.

From silk scarves in William Morris prints, to leather keyrings featuring  exotic birds and beautifully decorated sketchbooks, there is something for every occasion with our range of homeware, stationery, accessories, prints and more.

And don't forget that if you become a member of The Friends, you'll receive a 10% discount with every purchase!

 

Visit the museums shop

Blue tile make-up bag and eye mask

The museums launch their new branding

The museums' new brand identity was launched in September.  Our redesigned logo presents two interconnected blocks, suggesting architectural forms injected with bold colours reminiscent of the vibrant palette in Leighton's and Sambourne's house interiors. The bespoke typeface combines straight lines with quirky, irregular traces that are inspired by late 1800s calligraphy styles.

But this isn't just a 'new look' - the museums have undergone a profound transformation that will manifest through our reimagined vision and the core museums' mission. Both Leighton House and Sambourne House appear now unified in the same creative universe, whilst retaining their unique characters and identities that reflect Leighton's and Sambourne's distinct personalities. 

Our vision is to widen appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of Victorian art, architecture and history;
their contemporary relevance made apparent and meaningful.
Leighton House and Sambourne House. Victorian Artists at Home