Heritage Lottery Helps Hogarth’s Home

Family home of the 18th century painter, philanthropist and satirist to be restored

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The family home of the great 18th century painter, philanthropist and satirist William Hogarth is to be restored, thanks to a grant of £276,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Grade 1 listed building with is compact walled garden is close to the grounds of Chiswick House and adjacent to the A4 Great West Road, one of the busiest routes into central London. Apart from the fact that motorists pass through the nearby Hogarth Roundabout the building’s presence goes largely unnoticed.

Restoration work over the next three years will repair water damage and historic architectural features, and open up more of the building for visitors. An extensive outreach programme of activities will include tours of the house, teacher training and school visits, family art activities and special events based on the life and art of William Hogarth who used it as his weekend home from 1749 until his death in 1764.

Owned and cared for by Hounslow Council, the house is of national and international significance. Hogarth used it as his country home because at the time it was set in fields on the outskirts of the village of Chiswick in easy reach of London by road or river.

The restoration project, which begins later this year, will improve interpretation of the house’s history throughout, display some of Hogarth’s work, and open up the second floor – which has never been seen by the public before - for use as a study and education room.

Special events and exhibitions will be created to attract new visitors, including the theme ‘Hogarth and Children’ which acknowledges the artist’s involvement as one of the original governors of the Foundling Hospital in London, the UK’s first home for abandoned children. Hogarth donated some of his work to the Hospital and encouraged fellow 18th century artists to do the same so as to encourage wealthy benefactors to support the institution. In so doing he created Britain’s first public exhibition space.

The restoration project will also enable more research to be undertaken into the history of the house and will provide level access to the ground floor as well as improving pathways in the garden. A team of 12 volunteers will also be trained to assist in promoting and running the house.

Commenting on the project Cllr Adrian Lee, Hounslow Council's lead member for leisure and culture, said,"We are absolutely thrilled to be given an opportunity to restore Hogarth's house to its former glory, and open it up in a way that has never been seen before. It will mean people will be able to truly appreciate the work, life and legacy of this great man for many years to come. We thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their award."

For the Heritage Lottery Fund, Regional Manager for London Sue Bowers said,“Hogarth’s House is a hidden gem that deserves to be better known. This project will do exactly that bringing about a step change in how the house is presented and enjoyed by a wide range of visitors.”

March 20, 2008