Leighton House Leighton House

Leighton House

The London-based museum showcases the magnificent living and studio space of prominent 19th-century British artist Frederic Leighton.

Preserving a Victorian-Era Artist's Legacy

Leighton House

A well-known Victorian-era painter and sculptor, Sir Frederic Leighton was a fierce champion of fine artistry who later in life served as president of the Royal Academy of Arts. In the 1860s, his energy was devoted to the construction of a studio-house in the Kensington neighborhood of London, which would come to be known as Leighton House. He envisioned a grand residence that would serve as a "private palace of art" and feature combined spaces for living, working, and entertaining.

When Leighton died in 1896, his art collection was sold off, and the house was opened as a museum in 1900. Leighton's own works were the focus of the displays, especially a collection of approximately 700 sheets of his drawings. In 1927, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea assumed ownership of the house, a new exhibition space was added, and it was subsequently transformed into a borough museum and events space. In the 1980s, the interiors were restored to their original look, and a 2008-10 project redecorated the rooms in their original style and returned items from Leighton's collection. 

Leighton House's sister museum is the neighboring Sambourne House. Built in the same decade by Edward Linley Sambourne, a fellow artist who worked as the chief cartoonist at the satirical magazine Punch, Sambourne House also combined domestic space with studio space and showcased its owner's passion for the arts.

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