Hogarth House Refurbishment Reaches Important Milestone
As scaffolding comes down from 18th century house and building’s structure conservation nears completion
Work on refurbishing Hogarth’s House has reached an important milestone. The scaffolding has been taken down from the 18th century house and the contract for the conservation of the building’s structure is nearing completion. The project continues with the development of new displays. The House should re-open to visitors in November 2009.
The high quality conservation work has been overseen by Wyndham Westerdale of AcanthusLW architects and executed by Stephens and James. This is the first major work to the structure of the House since World War 2 bomb damage was repaired in 1950/1. It has included careful repairs to brickwork, joinery and guttering, sensitive repairs to original panelling and shutters, adapting the 2nd floor for museum use and repairing and upgrading the gates, to provide level access from the road.
During the contract, every opportunity for examining and recording the structure has been taken. An expert analysis of the paints used throughout the life of the House was commissioned from Richard Ireland and the colours selected to decorate the rooms were all used there in the 18th and 19th centuries. The interiors are beginning to look very beautiful.
David McCabe Design has been appointed to develop the new displays and work on these will continue over the coming months. In place of the previous rather formal art gallery displays, a new approach is being adopted. This will tell the stories of others who have lived in the House beside the Hogarths and interpret the history of the building itself. A special exhibition programme has also been devised for the two years after re-opening and a second floor room will become a study space for small seminars and for individual researchers.
The two-year post of outreach officer, funded by the HLF grant, will shortly be filled. This appointment will provide a champion for Hogarth’s House whose task will be to ensure that it is widely known and attracts a wide audience. New learning materials are being commissioned and a team of freelance teachers and volunteer assistants will be appointed.
The House will re-open to visitors in November, to coincide with Hogarth’s birthday.
The project is a partnership between Hounslow Council, which owns the house, John Laing Integrated Services, which manages it, and the William Hogarth Trust, which promotes awareness and understanding of Hogarth’s life and work. Funding has come from Hounslow Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the William Hogarth Trust, and we are delighted to announce that a new grant of £5,000 from the Howard Trust has just been confirmed.
The work is being overseen by a steering group of curators and academics with expertise in 18th century history, architecture, art and artefacts. This is chaired by Val Bott of the William Hogarth Trust.
Val Bott, for the William Hogarth Trust
July 15, 2009