We’re a nosy bunch, and so the opportunity to have a mosey around a selection of residences, which the likes of Henry Moore, Paul Cézanne, and Frida Kahlo once called home, proved only too tempting.
Below, a sextet of artists’ homes-turned-museums await your perusal. From Mexico City to Aix-en-Provence, it’s quite a whirlwind tour.
Head to Sussex to take in the country home of the Bloomsbury Group. A 17th-century farmhouse, Charleston oozes with charm – think hand-painted dressers and stencilled paisley walls. Home to painters Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) and Duncan Grant (1885-1978), their handiwork and artistry can be spotted throughout the space. In the main house, the bright artist’s studio – which you’ll visit at the end of the tour – is a real standout. The sometimes retreat of Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry, et al, the farmhouse served a ‘gathering point for some of the 20th century’s most radical artists, writers, and thinkers’. Fostering further conversation between artists and writers, the Charleston Festival runs annually, hosting a series of talks with creative types. Add to your experience with a tour of the galleries.
Atelier de Cézanne, Aix-en-Provence, France
Situated in the scenic region of Aix-en-Provence, Atelier de Cézanne was home to the French painter from 1902, until his death in 1906. During this period, the artist worked daily in the bright studio space, completing several famous works whilst living here, including his last iteration of Bathers, 1900–1905. Spot the original still-life models – bottles, pottery, paper flowers, and fabrics – and work equipment as you work your way through the characterful space.
The Mackintosh House, Glasgow, Scotland
Artists and designers, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald are household names in the design sphere. Imagined in Mackintosh’s restrained style, their Glasgow home at 78 Southpark Avenue, where they lived from 1906-1914, was reassembled in 1981 and now forms “an integral part of the Hunterian Art Gallery”. Pay a visit to the main rooms of the pair’s home, complete with original furniture designs, pausing to ogle over their trademark long-backed chairs. Distinctive in style, we suggest dedicating the majority of your viewing time to the drawing room – it is a real highlight.
Casa Dalí, Port Lligat, Spain
Establishing himself in a small fisherman’s hut in Portlligat in 1930, the Surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí considered Cadaqués both his summer retreat and studio. Made up of a few small fisherman’s houses, the winding, labyrinthine property, where Dalí lived and worked until 1982, is a sight to see. Punctuated with egg-shaped structures, all the rooms have windows of different sizes which look out to the Portlligat bay (which makes repeat appearances in Dalí’s work). Now converted into a museum, the residence houses much of Dalí’swork, including Figures Lying on the Sand and Inaugural Gooseflesh, alongside other marvellously peculiar objet– for example, a huge stuffed bear adorned with beaded necklaces – collected by Dalí.
Henry Moore Studios and Gardens, Hertfordshire, UK
Discover some of Henry Moore’s most iconic sculptures in the landscape where he conceived them. Make the pilgrimage to Moore’s studios in Perry Green, Hertfordshire, to visit the rural home in which Moore resided since the 1940s. Not only did it serve as a refuge from The Blitz in London but as a profound source of inspiration – influencing the scale and scope of many of Moore’s most acclaimed works. Set in over 70 acres of rolling countryside, the site hosts 23 monumental bronze sculptures, placed throughout the estate, orchards, and fields nearby.
Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul, Mexico City, Mexico
The cobalt-hued Casa Azul in Mexico City was home to artist Frida Kahlo for much of her life. Located in the Coyoacán neighbourhood, the house was originally built by Frida Kahlo’s father in 1904. In 1958, the space was transformed into a museum by Kahlo’s husband, muralist Diego Rivera, who decided to open the house to the public. Spotlighting her life and work, visitors can explore Kahlo’s home and gardens at their leisure – in the two rooms upstairs, stand amongst the original furniture from Kahlo’s bedroom and studio area. Whilst here, spot some of Kahlo’s most famous works, including Viva La Vida and Portrait of my Father, as well as and portraits of her heroes Lenin and Mao.
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