Taking pride at Wightwick

A bust of Queen Victoria in the Great Parlour at Wightwick Manor

This year we are exploring the stories of artists, writers, craftspeople and even our own servants which reveal the changing attitudes to sexuality over the past 150 years.

Simeon Solomon

In the Honeysuckle Room we are displaying ten Simeon Solomon drawings, created during the 1870 – 1890s. Behind these androgynous drawings are Simeon’s story of persecution and perseverance and how the prejudice he faced affected his career. Working with Dr Carolyn Conroy we are creating video content about his artistic output and the themes behind his work. Find out more

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde visited Wolverhampton in March 1882 and gave a talk on the ‘House Beautiful’ Theodore Mander attended and took notes which inspired the decoration of the Manor. Explore Wilde’s aesthetics ideals, how these ideas inspired Wightwick, his infamous trial and the persecution he faced.

Different standards

When it came to discrimination men and women weren't treated equally, with lesbians not always being as vilified as homosexual men. Learn of the relationship between May Morris and Miss Lobb, who both ‘motored’ to Wightwick to meet Geoffrey and Rosalie Mander; Evelyn De Morgan’s passionate friendship with her muse Jane Hales, whom she often used as her semi-clothed model in numerous artworks on the walls at Wightwick. And our housekeeper Emma Smith, who never married, and had a very close personal relationship with Miss Fielding, whom she often describes in her letters to Flora Mander.

Events as part of the celebration

Sign up to one of our specialist talks. Learn about May Morris on the 20th May, for adults only come to 'Sex, Drugs and Poetry and the Pre-Raphaelites' on 14th September and the infamous Simeon Solomon  on the 16th September. Visit our events page to buy tickets

Throughout the year our volunteers will be delivering short talks on Simeon Solomon in the Honeysuckle room.

Wightwick will also host a film developed through national artists in residence Simona and Michelle.