Museum Partner

CHARLESTON

We are delighted to announce our 2021 Museum Partner, Charleston – once home to some of the 20th century’s most pioneering artists, writers and thinkers.

From 1916 it was the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, two of the most radical and influential British artists of the 20th century. Inspired by Italian fresco painting and the Post-Impressionists they transformed Charleston, an idyllic sixteenth-century Sussex farmhouse, into a living artwork with hand-painted rooms and furniture, and a unique collection of art, textiles and ceramics by Bell, Grant and their contemporaries.

Situated in the spectacular South Downs National Park, Charleston was also the regular meeting place of the Bloomsbury group, where their attempts to live life differently artistically, politically and socially, found their most material expression.

Charleston farmhouse. Photograph © Penelope Fewster
Charleston farmhouse. Photograph © Penelope Fewster

Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant were both members of the Bloomsbury group and their house and garden became a hub of artistic and intellectual activity where people gathered to imagine life differently.

Regular visitors included Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, Clive Bell, Roger Fry and Lytton Strachey, among others. As the only complete preserved Bloomsbury interior in the world, Charleston welcomes visitors to explore its unique spaces, beautiful walled garden and discover the stories and lives of the artists, writers and thinkers who made it their home.

The studio at Charleston. Photograph © Penelope Fewster
The studio at Charleston. Photograph © Penelope Fewster

Alongside the house and garden, Charleston runs a year-round programme of historic and contemporary exhibitions; plus, events, workshops and festivals which explore the creativity, radicalism and contemporary relevance of the Bloomsbury group.

As part of our partnership we will be supporting Charleston with fundraising initiatives to ensure they can remain open for generations to come.

Charleston is temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, with a planned reopening in Spring 2021.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM PARTNERSHIP

First introduced in 2014 to showcase important regional collections; London Art Fair’s annual Museum Partnership has seen collaborations with the Hepworth Wakefield, Pallant House Gallery, Jerwood Gallery, The Lightbox, Towner Art Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery.

Housed in a specially designed pavilion at the front of the Fair, the Museum Partnership provides a prominent London platform and significant opportunity for patrons, collectors and general Fair visitors to engage with an exhibition of exceptional museum quality works – bringing some of our most important regional private collections into the public domain; whilst highlighting the gallery’s broader programme, driving new audiences and supporters.

2020 MUSEUM PARTNER: SOUTHAMPTON CITY ART GALLERY

In 2020 London Art Fair welcomed Southampton City Art Gallery to the Business Design Centre.

Following the Gallery’s 80th anniversary in 2019, the exhibition Gallery 80: From Generous Beginnings to Lasting Legacies’, highlighted Southampton City Art Gallery’s outstanding collection of modern British and contemporary art, which are considered to be amongst the finest in the UK outside of London; earning ‘Designated’ status from Arts Council England in 1998.

Revealing the depth and variety of Southampton’s evolving collection of modern and contemporary painting and sculpture, the exhibition showcased a selection of around 25 works that are significant to the history of the Gallery; including pieces by Walter Sickert, L.S. Lowry, Stanley Spencer, Ben Nicholson, Helen Chadwick, Maggi Hambling, Christopher Le Brun and Bob and Roberta Smith.

London Art Fair 2020,  Southampton City Art Gallery
London Art Fair 2020, Southampton City Art Gallery
London Art Fair 2020,  Southampton City Art Gallery
London Art Fair 2020, Southampton City Art Gallery