Modern art in a classical country setting at Dudmaston

Close up of the sculpture 'Bronze Hares' by Barry Flanagan, situated in the gardens at Dudmaston, Shropshire

Dudmaston offers something unexpected in the house and that is the collection of modern art. The collection was the life’s work of Sir George Labouchere, who lived at Dudmaston, with his wife Rachel, until his death in 1999.

International influence

Sir George was the British Ambassador in Spain during the turbulent Franco era where he was both a successful ambassador and art collector preferring works by the El Paso group of artists, who were enemies of the Spanish state.
 
 

His and hers 

Sir George and Lady Labouchere retired to Dudmaston in 1969, when Rachel inherited the property from her uncle Geoffrey Wolryche-Whitmore.  
 
Neither of them liked the other's art collections and so rooms were set aside to display each collection with only a few items on display in the rooms in which they lived. This has formed the basis of the galleries that you see at Dudmaston today. 
 
 

For the love of art

Sir George collected for his enjoyment and not for investment; he would often sell pieces to raise funds to purchase others. He believed that you should look at abstract art as you would enjoy a piece of music – not as a picture but as a feeling.
 
The story is told that his favourite piece was ‘Head of Girl’ by Matisse which he carried around with him choosing to display it in the room he was currently in.
 
You will be able to see some of the most famous pieces which are by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth on a visit to Dudmaston. Look out for the sculptures in the garden too.