Our work

A new gallery roof

The new rooflight improves both illumination and protection

The Picture Gallery is open again.

After a thirteen month project the precious contents of the Picture Gallery are now protected from ultra violet light and infrared radiation by high-tech roof glazing. Just as important, it is also weatherproof, unlike its predecessor.

The replaced roof light was designed for the squash court, which was the original purpose of this room. However, the original 1930s appearance was preserved, so to many eyes nothing will have changed - except for the better.

Caring for our collection

Items in light rooms like the Long Gallery need special attention

Items in light rooms like the Long Gallery need special attention

At Upton we use both remedial conservation and preventative conservation.

When you visit find out why we put teasels on the chairs and why we don't use gloves when cleaning porcelain; also, how we protect artefacts in the house from irreversible damage by light and how we maintain the house as a welcoming home rather than a museum.

Caring for the pool

During autumn 2013 the pool was drained to deal with leaks.

Thousands of fish were temporarily re-housed in one of Upton's other pools and the opportunity was taken to clear the pool of unwanted weeds and other vegetation.

The wet winter refilled it quickly, and apart from much clearer water there is no longer any clue to what has happened.

Caring for the garden

The gardeners at Upton House answer visitors queries

Upton's 12 acres require the attention of a handful of permanent gardeners and dozens of volunteer helpers.

Although the imprints of previous owners over the centuries remain evident, the gardens are being returned to their 1930s heyday. An orchard, herbaceous borders, vegetable garden, bog garden, wild areas and extensive grassed areas all pose a variety of challenges, but helping visitors with their queries is important too.

Previous exhibitions

From Lowry to Piper:20th century art

 © John Piper estate

Opening in 2013, this exhibition showed work by eight British artists from the 1930s to the 1950s - L.S. Lowry, Prunella Clough, John Armstrong, Duncan Grant, Ivon Hitchens, Keith Vaughan, William Scott and John Piper. Upton's Viscount Bearsted became involved with them as chairman of London's Whitechapel Gallery.


Glenn Brown

Copywright image of The Shallow End for Glenn Brown Curator Event Upton © Glenn Brown

From late 2012 into 2013 Glenn Brown, Turner prize nominated British contemporary artist, displayed various works at Upton House. It was the first art exhibition to be held in the new Squash Gallery.


Upton's Backs to the Future

Upton Backs to the Future exhibition displays the hidden side of paintings © Mike Perry

In early 2014 Upton gave visitors a rare view into a world normally seen only by owners of art, curators and galleries. The back of a painting is an insight into its pulse.


Sigrid Holmwood

Touch, painted by Sigrid Holmwood for Upton House © Sigrid Holmwood

As part of its Year of Art celebrations in 2012 Upton commissioned contemporary artist, Sigrid Holmwood, for two new works inspired by the collection of Old Masters on display in the house.

Shell and the Art of Advertising

Uptons Shell exhibition echoes its 1930s links with the oil company © Royal Dutch Shell  plc

The Shell oil company was founded by the father of Upton's former owner, Viscount Bearsted II. Under the chairmanship of Lord Bearsted in the 1930s Shell engaged contemporary artists such as Graham Sutherland and John Piper to create some of the most distinctive advertising material of the century.