The Galleries at Dudmaston

Visitor in Modern Art Gallery at Dudmaston Hall in Shropshire

To visit the Galleries, collect your timed entry ticket from reception when you arrive. Tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved in advance. We're limiting the number of visitors to the Galleries and staggering your entry to make sure we're adhering to social distancing guidelines. As part of the government's NHS Track and Trace programme, you'll be asked for a few details at the Galleries entrance. Please remember to wear a face covering and sanitise your hands before you go inside.

Dudmaston is home to one of the most important private collections of Modern art in Britain. Works include pieces by Moore, Matisse and Hepworth. Sir George and Lady Labouchere started collecting Modern Art in the 1950s while Sir George was working for the British Embassy in Brussels. The couple came to live at Dudmaston in the 1960s. They installed the galleries at Dudmaston to display their personal art collections, as well as temporary exhibitions in some of the gallery spaces.

Now fully open - 'Art meets nature'

After months of closure, we're pleased to be able to bring you this new exhibition which celebrates the paintings and sculptures of local artist, Anthony Twentyman. Born in nearby Wolverhampton in 1906, Twentyman played a big part in what makes Dudmaston special and surprising.

Modern Art Gallery

Sir George was aware that his taste in art was not that of the mainstream and was concerned that visitors wouldn’t understand his collection. During his lifetime he would often pop up at a visitor’s shoulder to ask their opinion on a piece and tell the back-story to it.

Sir George designed the original hang in the Modern Art gallery when the house opened to the public in the late 1970s. Lady Labouchere saw the galleries as living museums, that should be kept fresh through changing exhibitions. Adhering to this and to manage the conservation of the artwork we have altered displays over the years. In the Modern Art gallery, only Chic Temps above the fireplace remains where Sir George wished it to be, in honour of the fact that it was one of his favourites.

Chic Temps by J. Dubuffet
Chic Temps by J. Dubuffet
Chic Temps by J. Dubuffet

The collection has been identified as one of the most important private displays of modern art in Britain, containing works from internationally acclaimed artists such as Matisse, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.

Spanish Gallery

Sir George and Lady Labouchere were in Spain during the dictatorship of General Franco. They were dark and difficult days and many used art to express their emotions. Despite the anti-establishment message of the works Sir George collected he maintained good ambassadorial terms with the General.

El Cine by Antonio Saura is definitely one of these anti-establishment pieces—Saura spent many years in exile from Franco’s regime. It gives the impression of a crowd  looking at at a huge screen. The screen contains establishment figures—but who is watching who?
 

El Cine by Antonio Saura
El Cine by Antonio Saura
El Cine by Antonio Saura

Botanical Gallery

Rachel, Lady Labouchere loved botanical art, collecting it and painting it herself. She came from a family of artistic women—her Aunt, Evelyn Blacklock, was also a prolific artist.

She was also skilled in needlework, working throughout her life on petit point chair covers and other crafts—often making items of clothing or accessories during her earlier years abroad to supplement what she could take with her.

Spending time on her return from abroad at Flatford Mill working under the accomplished artist Nash, Lady Labouchere befriended Mary Grierson, the famed botanical artist. Later when Lady Labouchere was starting the Ironbridge Gorge Trust, Grierson gifted a painting of wildflowers from the Gorge to be auctioned.

Gallery Two - Ancient meets Modern

Gallery Two houses the history of the people at Dudmaston, shown through the objects they once owned. It presents a full timeline from the year dot, which for us is 1127 when the land was first gifted to the family who still reside here today.

Gallery 2 exhibits items which tell the stories of Dudmaston's previous owners
Gallery 2 at Dudmaston
Gallery 2 exhibits items which tell the stories of Dudmaston's previous owners

The stories of some of Dudmaston's past inhabitants are told through items from our collection, chosen by staff, volunteers and our visitors over the past year. What memories do the Victorian tricycle hold for some local residents? What glimpses of daily life does the Steward's ledger from 1776 reveal?

The first deed of Dodemanestone Estate was granted to the family in 1127
The deed in gallery 2, Dudmaston
The first deed of Dodemanestone Estate was granted to the family in 1127