Leighton House Museum reopens

Monday 7 September 2020

Leighton House, the former home and studio of Victorian artist Frederic, Lord  Leighton (1830 – 1896), will reopen for pre-booked visits at weekends from Saturday 12 September.

The museum – which houses a collection of paintings by Leighton and his contemporaries – has been closed for six months due to Covid-19 restrictions. Safety measures are in place to protect staff and visitors including screens in the reception area, a hand sanitiser station at the entrance and strict cleaning routines throughout the day. Visitors are required to wear a face covering and tickets must be pre-booked through Eventbrite

With the exception of Leighton’s private bedroom, the rest of the historic rooms are fully accessible as part of a one-way route designed to allow visitors to navigate safely and comfortably throughout the interiors. A free introductory booklet is included in the entry ticket and further resources are available to download or browse from our website, including a virtual curated tour on the museum’s app, Smartify. The one-way route is clearly indicated by visible signage and our team of Museum Assistants are at hand to offer guidance and assistance.

Cllr Emma Will, Lead Member for Culture, Community Safety and Leisure said:

“We are lucky to have such rich culture in the borough. Staff have worked hard to make sure the museum is safe for visitors while still providing a memorable experience driven by the unique stories around Leighton and his art. The reopening of Leighton House presents a great opportunity to get back to enjoying London’s art in a peaceful and safe environment.

The museum’s permanent collection has been enhanced with recent acquisitions. The highlight is Albert Moore’s oil painting, A Vase of Dhalias, c 1880. Visitors to the museum will see the painting on display for the first time since 1896, hanging in its original position in the Silk Room, close to John Everett Millais’s Shelling Peas. This work, gifted to Leighton by Moore, who also lived in Kensington very close to Leighton’s house, has been acquired with the assistance of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund.

Visitors are encouraged to book soon as the reopening of Leighton House this September marks the start of a special moment in the history of the house. A major capital project is underway at the museum.  Completion will require the museum to close again fully in Spring 2021 meaning this period will be the last opportunity to view the house before this transformation. This will provide visitors with additional exhibition and learning spaces, new visitor facilities, including a brand-new café and improved access for all. The £8 million project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Friends of Leighton House, individual donors and foundations and Kensington and Chelsea Council, will be unveiled in Autumn 2021, accompanied by an exciting exhibition and new public programme. 

Book your tickets now on Eventbrite