Fundraising campaigns

Hidden Gem to National Treasure: Opening Up Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum is currently undergoing a major restoration and refurbishment project due to be completed in spring 2021. This is the third phase of an award-winning master plan that commenced in 2008, aimed at reinstating the house interiors as Leighton knew them. It focusses on the two unsympathetic additions made to the east end of the house in the twentieth century, long after Leighton’s death.


Learn more about the project and how to donate.



Perrin Wing supporting the Original House to create an enhanced visitor experience














Refurbishing the forecourt


Forecourt2In 1944, a Second World War bomb fell just outside Leighton House, demolishing the original gates, a section of the boundary wall and leaving a gaping hole where the front steps into the house had been. The damage was repaired but the original stone steps were rebuilt to a different configuration.  A wooden trellis that originally separated the front entrance from the servants’ entrance was lost and the two original gates, designed by the architect of the house, George Aitchison, were replaced by standard iron gates. The present iron gates and railings were installed in the early 1990s.



The construction works of our Hidden Gem to National Treasure project present the perfect opportunity to reinstate the gates and trellis and rebuild the damaged front steps to conform to the surviving photographs of the original arrangements. Doing so will complete the restoration of the street façade of the house and greatly enhance the environment of the museum, replacing the ‘institutional’ feel of the forecourt with the original domestic character that Leighton knew.  The Friends have now raised £10,000 towards the costs of this project, but they still need your help to reach their £35,000 target.


Previous fundraising campaigns

Acquisition of Leighton's Interior of the Cappella Palatina

September 2015

Raised: £10,000

Frederic Leighton, Interior of the Cappella Palatina‘Interior of the Cappella Palatina’, a previously untraced painting by Leighton, was probably painted in the 1870s, and depicts the interior of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily.  The Cappella Palatina was built in the first half of the 12th century by the Norman king, Roger II, and is famous for the luminous gold Byzantine mosaics that line its walls.

Thanks to the unprecedented response to the Public Appeal campaign launched in September 2015, Leighton’s painting ‘Interior of the Cappella Palatina’ was acquired for the Museum’s permanent collections. We are grateful to everyone who donated, to the Arts Council England / Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grand Fund, the Friends of Leighton House and to Rupert Maas for his assistance in making the purchase possible.


Finishing the finial


Raised: £5,000

On top of the dome of the Arab Hall is an iron finial featuring a modified symbol of a crescent moon. During the restoration of the museum in 2009-10 it was discovered that this finial, currently painted white, was original gilded. The finial is now once more gleaming above the dome of the Arab Hall.









Leighton's cabinet

Raised: £7,000

Leighton's cabinet, around the world in 115 years. This cabinet has recently returned to the museum to stand in the precise spot it occupied up until 1896. The cabinet is now secured and a part of the permanent collections at Leighton House.

Leighton's Cabinet


Open Saturday and Sunday

10am - 5.30pm
12 Holland Park Road
London W14 8LZ