Charleston

Charleston
Near Firle
Lewes
East Sussex
BN8 6LL
England

Website

www.charleston.org.uk

E-mail

info@charleston.org.uk

Telephone

Visitor Information

01323 811265

Group/ school bookings

01323 811626

Fax

01323 811628

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Charleston, photograph by Tony Tree copyright The Charleston Trust
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

‘It is not so much a house as a phenomenon’ Quentin Bell once said of Charleston. It was in 1916 that the phenomenon came into being, as Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and David Garnett made the move from Suffolk to Charleston, where Clive Bell and Maynard Keynes were also to be regular visitors. As conscientious objectors Grant and Garnett were exempted from military service providing they continued to work on the land and both found employment on a nearby farm. It was Virginia and Leonard Woolf, who lived locally, who had originally spotted the late 17th century Sussex farmhouse situated at the foot of the South Downs and encouraged Vanessa to make the move. Over the next 60 years the house was decorated by Bell and Grant, they painted walls, doors and furniture and produced decorated ceramics and needlepoint designs for their home.

After the death of Duncan Grant The Charleston Trust was formed to preserve the house and its remarkable collection, it has been described as ‘One of the most difficult and imaginative feats of restoration current in Britain’.

Charleston now hosts an active range of other associated events . Amongst these are a summer school, an annual festival, the Charleston Gallery, the quarterly Canvas publication, the Crafts Council listed shop and the continuing activities of the Friends of Charleston (who are now 1,400 strong).

Venue Type:

Historic house or home, Museum, Heritage site

Opening hours

April-October
Wed-Sun & Bank holidays

Wed - Sat 1300 - 1800 (1200 – 1800 July & August)

Sun & Bank holidays 1400-1800
Last entry 1700

Closed: Mon Tues

Admission charges

Adults £7.50
Children (6-16) £5.00
Themed Fridays (not July & August) £9.00
Disabled £5.00
OAPs (Thurs only) £6.50
Students (Thurs only) £6.50
Unemployed (Thurs only) £6.50

Charleston is the only surviving complete example of the decorative work of Bell and Grant, with walls, doors and furniture painted in their exuberant style. The house shows an evolution in decorative style throughout its different rooms. Initially only Vanessa’s bedroom (now the library), Clive Bell’s study door and window and Duncan’s bedroom were decorated. Later the designs spread throughout the house, including the spare room in 1936 and the garden room in 1945.

Charleston not only houses an impressive collection of art by its inhabitants but also a varied collection of other artist’s work including sculpture by Renoir and Gimond and paintings by Fry, Picasso, Sickert and Derain.

The collection is continually developing - recent acquisitions include Duncan Grant’s ‘Self-Portrait in a Turban’ 1909 purchased with support from The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, The National Art Collections Fund and The Pilgrim Trust and Duncan Grant’s copy of Piero della Francesca’s ‘Portrait of Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino’ 1904/5 (this purchase was the first project to be supported by the Quentin Bell Commemoration Fund founded in 1997). Amongst recent loans are ‘Flowers against Chintz’ by Duncan Grant, 1956, from the Arts Council Collection and a bronze bust of Lytton Strachey by Stephen Tomlin, circa 1930, on loan from the Keatley Trust. The Tate Gallery have lent two pictures to the collection each season since 1993.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Botanical Painting Masterclass

  • 27 — 28 April 2015 10am-4pm

With the garden at Charleston at it’s most lovely, learn how to capture the beauty of the individual flowers with botanical artist Vicky Mappin.  This two day workshop offers focused tuition on the different techniques of this delicate and dramatic art  form.

Exclusive access to the Garden on a day it is closed to the general public.

Suitable for

Admission

£200 (£180 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/botanical-painting-masterclass-27-28-april/

Painted Lampshades Masterclass

  • 30 April 2015 10am-4pm

Spend the day at Cressida Bell’s East London studio where you will create your own original lampshade inspired by Cressida’s prints and the art of Bloomsbury.

Working with Cressida’s help you will develop your understanding of pattern & colour and learn how to use stencils and templates to create an original and stunning lampshade for your home.

Suitable for

Admission

£170 (£150 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/painted-lampshades-masterclass-30-april/

charleston festival icon

Charleston Festival

  • 15 — 25 May 2015

This year’s Festival of literature, art and ideas is a cultural cornucopia.

We explore themes as old as Magna Carta and as modern as current fiction as life enhancing as gardening and as important as freedom of expression as historic as the Battle of Waterloo and as contemporary as phone hacking as raffish as Bohemianism and as glamorous as front-row fashion as magical as Alice in Wonderland and as magisterial as T.S. Eliot.

Our speakers include titans of the theatre (Tom Stoppard, Michael Frayn, Richard Eyre), the law (Helena Kennedy, Jeremy Hutchinson, Alan Moses), and the art world (Maggi Hambling, David Gentleman, Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist).

There will be plenty of opportunity to join in, meet the speakers at the City Books stall and hang out in the Charleston garden, cafés and bar. Don’t miss out!

See individual listings for details on all of this year's events.

Suitable for

Admission

Prices vary depending on event

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Raising the Roof

  • 15 May 2015 1-2:30pm

Architecture, whether new buildings, extensions, restorations or renovations, inspires passions for and against.

As the transformation of the Grade II listed barns and hidden courtyards at Charleston gathers pace, the panellists discuss their favourite and bête noire architectural projects of this century. Jamie Fobert’s practice won the commission to develop Charleston’s contemporary spaces.

Journalist and author Simon Jenkins was chairman of the National Trust until last autumn
his books include England’s 1,000 Best Houses. David Gentleman occupies a unique niche as a watercolourist, designer and topographer. His latest book is In the Country.

Chaired by Julia Barfield, half of the architectural team that conceived the London Eye, the Treetop Walk at Kew and Brighton’s forthcoming i360 Tower.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Quite a Good Time to be Born

  • 15 May 2015 3:30-5pm

David Lodge, one of our foremost novelists, playwrights and literary critics, renowned for his hilarious satire, turns the spotlight on himself.

Disarmingly frank, as well as insightful and illuminating, he charts the process of becoming the writer of the award-winning Changing Places, How Far Can You Go?, Small World and Nice Work, as well as stage plays, screen plays and literary criticism.

He discusses the transitions in British society since his birth in 1935 and his evolution as a writer with fellow academic, broadcaster and journalist John Mullan, whose latest book is What Matters in Jane Austen.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

David Nicholls Us book cover

Family Romances

  • 15 May 2015 6-7:30pm

David Nicholls’ new novel, Us, was a critical success and instant best-seller. The story follows a couple and their son on a tour of Europe in a last-ditch attempt to save their marriage.

His previous novel, One Day, was an international phenomenon and his film adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd will be released this spring.

Polly Samson’s lyrical and haunting new novel, The Kindness, is the story of a passionate love affair blown apart by an explosive secret. Her most recent book was the lauded story collection, Perfect Lives. She is also a lyricist for Pink Floyd. They discuss the conventions of family romances with Alex Clark, literary critic and broadcaster.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

My History book cover

Her History

  • 15 May 2015 8-9:30pm

Antonia Fraser turns her biographer’s eye inwards and mines her early years to explain her development as a celebrated narrative historian.

Her excursion into personal history takes in her upbringing by privileged Labour party activists; her undergraduate days at Oxford; her season as a debutante; working for Lord Weidenfeld; her racy London life and her marriage to a Tory MP (which lasted until she met Harold Pinter); and the triumphant publication of her first book, Mary, Queen of Scots.

She discusses the making of a historian with Jon Snow, distinguished broadcaster and Channel 4 News anchor.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Perfect Wives

  • 16 May 2015 11:30am-1pm

Fifties style is everywhere, from decor to fashion, but beyond the surface look of the decade, what was it really like?

Virginia Nicholson’s latest social history analyses the era from the female perspective and guess what? – it was not all glamour. She is a ‘brilliant and tireless researcher and every page will be replete with startling facts and personal stories’ (The Observer).

Virginia Nicholson discusses The Story of Women in the 1950s with Julia Somerville, one of our most well known and respected TV news broadcasters, encompassing both the BBC and ITN.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Mortal Lessons

  • 16 May 2015 1:45-3:15pm

Henry Marsh’s Do No Harm takes us into the mysteries of the human brain and its ailments and into the mind of a top surgeon. An Inspector Maigret of the neurosurgical theatre, he reveals the limitations and dangers of his art and how he copes with the expectations and fears of his patients.

Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a best-selling science writer whose new book, The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century, vividly resurrects the great 17th century writer (admired by Virginia Woolf) and physician. His previous books include Anatomies and Periodic Tales.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Lecture: Waterloo

  • 16 May 2015 4-5:30pm

On the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (1815), historian Andrew Roberts, unabashed Bonapartist, explains why he thinks that Napoleon was one of the most extraordinary men who ever lived. In the space of 20 years, he transfixed France and Europe, until he met his nemesis in the dramas of Russia in 1812 and finally at Waterloo.

Jenny Uglow’s In These Times: Living in Britain through Napoleon’s Wars, examines the lives of ordinary people during this turbulent period, capturing the social context and everyday details. They consider the international and local impact of the Napoleonic years, culminating in Waterloo.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

A smiling man holding a pot plant

Monty Don in Conversation

  • 16 May 2015 6:15-7:45pm

Monty Don is an inspirational gardener (‘there is as much pleasure in a snowdrop as in a successful career’), broadcaster and prolific writer.

He is the lead presenter of BBC’s Gardeners’ World, which is broadcast from his home, Long Meadow in Herefordshire. He is also the main presenter for the Chelsea Flower Show.

His latest series for the BBC, The Secret History of the British Garden, is due for transmission in 2015 and includes scenes shot at Charleston. He will be in conversation with Kate Kellaway, Observer writer, editor and keen gardener, though most of her learning is through her own mistakes!

Suitable for

Admission

£20

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Vanessa and her Sister book cover

Bloomsbury Re-Imagined

  • 16 May 2015 8:15-9:45pm

The legacy of Bloomsbury still resonates. How have novelist Priya Parmar and scriptwriter Amanda Coe re-interpreted Bloomsbury? Priya Parmar’s book, Vanessa and Her Sister, re-examines some momentous events in the lives of the unconventional Bloomsbury coterie through the perspective of Vanessa Stephen. Amanda Coe’s three-part series for BBC Two, Life in Squares, dramatises the story of the Bloomsbury group over 40 years, focusing on the close and fraught relationship between Vanessa and Virginia. They discuss portraying Bloomsbury in fiction and film with Frances Spalding, the biographer of Vanessa Bell. Priya Parmar’s previous novel is Exit the Actress. Amanda Coe is also a successful novelist. Her latest book is Getting Colder.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Case Histories

  • 17 May 2015 12-1:30pm

Jeremy Hutchinson was the greatest criminal barrister of his time. He defended the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Fanny Hill and prevented the suppression of Last Tango in Paris and Romans in Britain
he also defended Christine Keeler, George Blake, Great Train robber, Charlie Wilson, art ‘faker’ Tom Keating and Howard Marks. Not surprisingly, he was the partial inspiration for John Mortimer’s Rumpole.

Helena Kennedy QC is one of the UK’s most distinguished lawyers. Her leading cases include the Brighton bombing trial and the Guildford Four Appeal
she is well known for her championship of law reform for women. Thomas Grant QC has collaborated with Jeremy Hutchinson to recount his sensational career.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Magna Carta

  • 17 May 2015 2:30-4pm

This year is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede in 1215. Clause 29, the right to ‘due process’, laid the foundation for the individual freedoms that we enjoy today.

Shami Chakrabarti and Robert Tombs discuss its historic, contemporary and symbolic importance. Shami Chakrabarti is the director of the civil liberties advocacy organisation, Liberty. She published her first book, On Liberty, last year. Robert Tombs’ The English and their History (‘pithy, punchy and learned’ – The Sunday Times).

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Battle of the Bulge

  • 17 May 2015 5-6:30pm

Antony Beevor, our most distinguished military historian, is famous for evoking the total experience of war, civilian as well as military.

In his new book, he turns from the magisterial big canvas of his best-selling The Second World War to the key battle of the Ardennes 1944 (‘The Battle of the Bulge’), which marked the end of the German war machine. In the process, he casts a critical eye on Montgomery’s errors in the campaign, that so infuriated our American allies.

Expect a powerful account of the Wehrmacht’s last stand.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Bunny

  • 20 May 2015 1-2:30pm

David (Bunny) Garnett was a Bloomsbury insider who has recently been pushed to the margins. A conscientious objector, he was one of the original Charleston residents.

A scientist by training, he became a best selling novelist: Lady into Fox was made into a Rambert ballet and Aspects of Love into an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. He spent part of his youth in pre-revolutionary Russia and was at home in intellectual and underworld circles.

He was the lover of Duncan Grant and husband of Angelica Bell (Duncan’s daughter). Sarah Knights, author of Bloomsbury Outsider, discusses the real Bunny Garnett with his daughter Henrietta Garnett and biographer Anne Chisholm.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Anglos and Saxons

  • 20 May 2015 3:30-5pm

The recent exhibition at the British Museum, Germany: memories of a nation, signalled a new phase in our relationship with the EU’s largest country.

Giles Waterfield’s fourth novel, The Iron Necklace, revolves around the marriage between a German architect and an English artist whose families are divided by the outbreak of WWI. Miranda’s Seymour’s Noble Endeavours explores the ties that bind our two countries together through the stories of a range of individuals, from royalty to artists.

Giles Waterfield is an independent curator and former Chairman of the Charleston Trust. Miranda Seymour’s books include biographies of Ottoline Morrell and Mary Shelley.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

War Requiem

  • 20 May 2015 6-7:30pm

Maggi Hambling is one of our most important artists. A painter and sculptor, her best known public works include A Conversation with Oscar Wilde in central London, and Scallop on Aldeburgh Beach, dedicated to Benjamin Britten.

Her most recent exhibition at the National Gallery is Walls of Water. Her new book, War Requiem and Aftermath, focuses on a major installation, first exhibited in 2013, which included an extensive body of paintings of battlefields and war victims.

Never shy of controversy (‘it proves a piece of work has some life in it’), she discusses her art and life with Nicolette Jones, critic and journalist.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

How to be Both

  • 20 May 2015 8-9:30pm

Goldsmith’s Prize, and runner up for last year’s Booker, was described as ‘A delight. A masterpiece. Magical’ (Sunday Times).

The book comes in two inter-connected parts, one of which is about a Renaissance fresco painter, the other a contemporary teenager. The playfulness of the novel, the gender bending, the surprises and time lapses, suggest that Virginia Woolf is her literary forebear. Her other books include Hotel World, The Accidental and Artful. Alexandra Harris is the author of Romantic Moderns and an Introduction to Virginia Woolf. She is a BBC New Generation thinker.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Political Pioneers

  • 21 May 2015 3:30-5pm

Suffragettes, as well as issues of female and minority political power, are in the air.

Anita Anand, BBC Radio presenter, has unearthed a fascinating tale of privilege, protest and Punjabi history. The resulting book, Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, tells the story of an Indian princess who became a leading figure in the fight for Indian independence and the UK suffragette movement.

Caroline Lucas’ Honourable Friends: Parliament and the Fight for Change is a revealing account of the workings behind Westminster from the perspective of the first Green Party MP, several times voted as the UK’s most ethical politician. Chaired by Abi Morgan, playwright and screenwriter of The Iron Lady and Suffragette, to be released this year.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Far From the Tree

  • 21 May 2015 6-7:30pm

Young men involved either with extreme activism or war, far from the established lives of their families, unite Neel Mukherjee’s and Andrew O’Hagan’s powerful novels.

Neel Mukherjee’s Booker shortlisted The Lives of Others takes place in Calcutta in the late 60s – ‘an outstanding novel: compelling, compassionate and complex’ (Rose Tremain). Andrew O’Hagan’s The Illuminations revolves around the relationship between a young soldier returning from Afghanistan and his grandmother. ‘What gives the novel its great depth and dimension is the depiction of a blood-torn self when a soldier comes home’ (Edna O’Brien).

Chaired by Susie Nicklin, former Director of Literature, British Council.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Amnesia

  • 21 May 2015 8-9:30pm

Double Booker-winner Peter Carey’s new novel, Amnesia, revolves around a crusading journalist, the stories he uncovers about U.S. interference in Australian politics, the plight of a young female internet hacker and the unleashing of a virus which breaks security codes, resulting in the release of swarms of prisoners.

‘Few writers mix farce and ferocity to such engaging effect’ (Andrew Motion). Touching on surveillance and cyber-activism, Amnesia engages with some of the biggest issues of our time. Chaired by Alan Moses, former Lord Justice of Appeal and High Court Judge, currently Chairman of the new Independent Press Standards Organisation.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Behind the Façade

  • 21 May 2015 1-2:30pm

Two recent biographies, both of which read like novels, describe the domestic turmoil behind the scenes at 10 Downing Street in late Victorian and Edwardian England.

Claudia Renton’s Those Wild Wyndhams tells the story of the three unconventional sisters, memorably painted in virginal poses by Sargent in 1899, one of whom conducted a passionate extra-marital affair with Balfour, the Prime Minister. Anne De Courcy’s Margot at War focuses on the marriage between Asquith and his daring wife, Margot, and how they coped with his infidelity.

Both books end with the tragedies of WW1. Chaired by Nicolette Jones, critic and journalist.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Walberswick and Montmartre

  • 22 May 2015 3:30-5pm

Montmartre in Paris and Walberswick in Suffolk have been magnets for artists.

Sue Roe’s In Montmartre charts the story of the birth of Modernism in Paris through a fascinating cast of characters, including Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Derain, Vlaminck, Modigliani and Gertrude Stein. ‘In her entertaining account, Roe brings Montmartre’s heyday to life’ (The Sunday Times).

Esther Freud’s Mr Mac and Me is set in Walberswick in the era of WWI. Told through the eyes of a naive local boy, it describes the eventful period that the architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, spent in Walberswick.

Chaired by Olivia Laing, author of To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring and the forthcoming The Lonely City
the last two books revolve around the lives of artists.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

The Improbability of Love

  • 22 May 2015 1-2:30pm

If you have fantasized about finding a lost masterpiece in a junk shop, be careful what you wish for.

The protagonist of Hannah Rothschild’s novel, The Improbability of Love, discovers a lost masterpiece by Watteau and is pursued by a Russian oligarch, a Sheikha and an unscrupulous dealer.

Is this what the art world is really like? A Trustee of the Tate, soon to become Chair of the National Gallery Board, the author knows whereof she speaks. She discusses her affectionate satire (also a love story) with Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy. Hannah Rothschild’s previous book was The Baroness.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Literature of Loss

  • 22 May 2015 6-7:30pm

The literature of loss has a rich history. Colm Tóibín’s new book, Nora Webster, is infused with the grief he suffered following the death of his father, though told through the perspective of a mother.

The setting is his home town in Ireland at a time of political and personal turmoil. Many of the events in the novel are autobiographical, though filtered through fiction. Colm Tóibín is a multi-award winning writer.

His other books include Brooklyn (soon to be released as a film) and The Testament of Mary.

Chaired by Claire Armitstead, Head of Books, Guardian and Observer.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Beautiful Ideas

  • 22 May 2015 8-9:30pm

Tom Stoppard has been compared to the Bard and has been called our greatest living playwright.

His plays, from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead to Jumpers, Travesties, The Real Thing, Arcadia and Rock ‘n’ Roll, are utterly distinctive, informed with wit, verbal pyrotechnics and intellectual jousting. His films include Shakespeare in Love and Parade’s End for television.

He has also written many stage adaptations and translations, which reflect his European roots. Born in Czechoslovakia, he moved to England as a child. His latest play, The Hard Problem, opened in January at the National Theatre. Richard Eyre was the Director of the National Theatre for 10 years, where he directed Stoppard’s The Invention of Love.

Suitable for

Admission

£20

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

The Art of Curatorship

  • 23 May 2015 12-1:30pm

Modern curatorship creates opportunities to set the cultural agenda. No one could have pushed traditional boundaries more imaginatively than Julia Peyton-Jones, Director of the Serpentine Galleries. Under her regime, the Serpentine Galleries have become one of the most exciting cultural hubs in London.

The temporary Summer Pavilions, designed by innovative architects and artists, are always a talking point. Charles Saumarez Smith has headed three august institutions: The National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery and the Royal Academy. What talents do contemporary curators require? Chaired by Dinah Casson whose design company specialises in creating museum installations.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Lives of the Artists

  • 23 May 2015 2:30-4pm

Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (1550) is the foundation of art-historical writing. Who better to produce a modern version than Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of the Serpentine Galleries and one of the most powerful and charismatic figures in the contemporary art world?

In his Lives of the Artists, Lives of the Architects, he conducted an unparalleled series of interviews with 19 of the world’s leading artists, including David Hockney, Oscar Niemeyer, Gilbert and George, Zaha Hadid, Louise Bourgeois and Richard Hamilton. Hans Ulrich Obrist gives an illustrated talk on who is in and who is out. Chaired by Simon Martin, Artistic Director, Pallant House Gallery.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Universal Man

  • 23 May 2015 5-6:30pm

This evening is dedicated to one of the most influential figures associated with Charleston, John Maynard Keynes, the revolutionary economist whose ideas continue to reverberate today.

He lived at Charleston for long periods before moving to Tilton, just a stroll across the path. Richard Davenport-Hines’ thematic new biography of Keynes focuses on the man behind the economics: a Cambridge Apostle
a connoisseur of the arts
a statesman
an intellectual
a Bloomsbury insider
the husband of a member of the Ballets Russes. Richard Davenport-Hines will discuss Keynes’ multi-faceted attributes and interests with his great nephew Simon Keynes.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

The Economic Consequences of Austerity

  • 23 May 2015 7:30-9pm

We are honoured to introduce the inaugural recipient of the Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize. Amartya Sen teaches economics and philosophy at Harvard University and until 2004 was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

His awards include the Nobel Prize for Economics
the Bharat Ratna (India)
Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur (France)
the National Humanities Medal (USA)
Honorary Companion of Honour (UK). He is known for his commitment to welfare economics and social justice.

The title of his talk, The Economic Consequences of Austerity, is a reference to Keynes’s seminal paper, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, written while he was resident at Charleston. Chaired by Liz Forgan.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

My Family and Other Eccentrics

  • 24 May 2015 12-1:30pm

We cherish eccentrics, but what is it like if they are family members?

Selina Hastings’ The Red Earl is a homage to her father, the 16th Earl of Huntingdon: an aristocrat who became a revolutionary, ran off to the South Pacific and worked as Diego Rivera’s assistant.

Sofka Zinovieff’s The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me is an account of the scandal-filled lives of a group of 1930s aesthetes, who frequented Faringdon House in Oxfordshire. The roll call included Mitfords, Betjemans, Dali, Gertrude Stein and Stravinsky. Sofka, the granddaughter of Lord Berners’ lover, brings the Faringdon circle to life.

Chaired by Juliet Nicolson, social historian, novelist, critic and memoirist.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

The Lovers of Amherst

  • 24 May 2015 2:30-4pm

William Nicholson’s new novel, The Lovers of Amherst, interweaves the stories of a young, contemporary researcher into the life and work of the reclusive American poet, Emily Dickinson, with that of the poet’s milieu during a turbulent period in the 1880s.

The story from the past revolves around an illicit love affair conducted by Emily Dickinson’s married brother, in which the poet colluded.  The theme stems from William Nicholson’s long-standing fascination with Emily Dickinson’s work as well as his interest in the wellsprings and consequences of erotic passion.

Emily Dickinson’s poetry will be read by the renowned actress, Juliet Stevenson.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

The Language of Fashion

  • 24 May 2015 5-6:30pm

Clothes have ‘more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us’ (Virginia Woolf). Fashion is an important signifier, as Virginia Woolf recognised. Justine Picardie, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, gathers a group of top designers to discuss the language of fashion.

Bella Freud is a London-based designer, known for her cult sweaters with quirky slogans. After leaving school to work with Vivienne Westwood, she launched her eponymous label in 1990 and has since collaborated with the likes of Barbour and Christian Louboutin.

Roksanda IIincic is a Serbian born, London-based designer, known for her bold use of colour, luxurious fabrics and clean, elegant lines. She launched her own label after graduating from Central St Martins and opened her first stand-alone store last year.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Rhythm of Silence

  • 24 May 2015 8-9:30pm

‘I am writing to a rhythm, and not a plot’ (Virginia Woolf on her novel, The Waves). London Conchord Ensemble is joined by actors from Action to the Word in this thought-provoking performance piece which explores connections between two iconic works, both written within a year of each other (1931-32).

Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, her self-termed ‘playpoem’, and Benjamin Britten’s haunting Phantasy Quartet are married in a musical and physical exploration of the power of silence and solitude. Virginia Woolf’s words are read by celebrated actress Juliet Stevenson.

This groundbreaking new co-commission by the Charleston Festival and Rathfinny Wine Estate, where Conchord is the resident music ensemble, inhabits the transcendent world between music and language.

Suitable for

Admission

£18

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Bohemianism and Creativity

  • 25 May 2015 12-1:30pm

The link between Bohemianism and creativity is so strong that many have thought that if you lead a wild life the art will surely follow. Where better to discuss this than Charleston, an epicentre of Bohemia? 

Vic Gatrell’s The First Bohemians is a rip-roaring story about Covent Garden in the mid 1700s where the nation’s most significant artists, actors and writers congregated.

Fiona MacCarthy is a cultural historian whose work has encompassed Byron, William Morris and Eric Gill. Antony Penrose is the son of the American photographer and war correspondent Lee Miller and the surrealist artist Roland Penrose. Their home at Farley Farm House was host to a wide range of artists, including Henry Moore, Picasso, Max Ernst and Miró.  Frances Spalding has written extensively on Bloomsbury.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

The Secret History of Wonderland

  • 25 May 2015 2:30-4pm

Only one writer can claim to have influenced as diverse a band of people as John Lennon, William Empson, the Surrealists, Prince Philip, Tim Burton and sundry mathematicians and philosophers. It is, of course, Lewis Carroll.

This year is the 150th anniversary since the publication of Alice in Wonderland. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst’s new biography delves beneath the fairy tale to uncover the complex interaction between the quiet academic, Charles Dodgson, his second-self, Lewis Carroll, and his dream child who would never grow up, Alice Liddell.

Vanessa Tait is the great-granddaughter of the original Alice who inspired Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Her novel, The Looking Glass House, draws on memorabilia and stories handed down to her from Alice Liddell. Chaired by Nicolette Jones, critic and children’s literature specialist.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

The Young Old Possum

  • 25 May 2015 5-6:30pm

The great American poet T.S. Eliot is closely linked to Charleston. His epoch-defining poem, The Waste Land, was originally published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press.

He remained a close friend of the Woolfs (even though Virginia nailed his sense of English decorum by describing him as the man in the four-piece suit) and visited Charleston with them. 

This year marks 50 years since his death. Robert Crawford’s new biography, Young Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land, charts how Eliot started out as a subversive outsider and became the most celebrated poet of the century.

‘The story it tells of the great poet’s early life is enthralling’ (The Observer). Robert Crawford is a prize-winning poet and a Professor of Literature at St Andrews.

Suitable for

Admission

£14

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Matchbox Theatre

  • 25 May 2015 7-8:30pm

Michael Frayn’s writing career has never been predictable. He began as a satirical journalist and became a novelist and playwright. His plays move effortlessly from comic genius (Noises Off) to intellectual and philosophical (Copenhagen).

His new book, Matchbox Theatre, consists of thirty sketches to be played in the theatre of the imagination. They are imbued with Frayn’s distinctive sense of farce, with human interactions fraught with miscommunication.

There is also plenty of hilarious theatrical parody. Michael Frayn will discuss his playlets with Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex and actor manqué.

Suitable for

Admission

£16

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/whats-on/festivals/the-charleston-festival/events/

Dramatic Writing Masterclass

  • 6 — 7 June 2015 10am-4pm

A weekend workshop in the art of Dramatic Writing in all it’s forms – for stage, radio or screen.

Held in the atmospheric Charleston barns, explore story, character and form in a series of exercises designed to free your imagination and get you writing.  Turn ideas into hard copy, and leave knowing where to take it from here.

Tutor Faynia Williams is a BBC Drama & Documentary Producer & Richard Crane is former National Theatre Resident Dramatist & Royal Court Literary Manager.

Suitable for

Admission

£200 (£180 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/dramatic-writing-masterclass-6-7-june/

Woodcut Landscapes

  • 9 June 2015 10am-4pm

Spend the morning on the Downs, working to capture the chalk and green sweep of the landscape.  After a picnic lunch, return in the afternoon to the Outer Studio at Charleston and translate your drawings into print.

Tutor Helen Brown will guide you through the fascinating process of cutting, inking and printing, to produce a beautiful woodcut print of your own.

Suitable for

Admission

£100 (£90 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/woodcut-landscapes-9-june/

Handcrafted Ceramic Tiles

  • 15 June 2015 10am-4pm
  • 22 June 2015 10am-4pm
  • 29 June 2015 10am-4pm

Make a series of beautiful, bespoke tiles for your kitchen, bathroom, fireplace or garden, using a variety of ceramic techniques with ceramicist and creator of the Ceramic House, J Kay Aplin.

This three session course covers the intricate processes involved in making plaster casts and press moulds and how to make clay multiples from moulds. Complete your work with colour and surface decoration, using vivid underglazes, oxides and glazes.

Suitable for

Admission

£295 (£265 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/handcrafted-ceramic-tiles-15-22-29-june/

Terracotta Nudes

  • 16 June 2015 10am-4pm

" it is impossible not to feel as the clay takes shape and captures a suggestion of beauty… that this is one of the best things that life has to offer." Quentin Bell, "Techniques of Terracotta."

A day's workshop with a life model making figures in clay with sculptor Silvia MacRae Brown. The clay nudes can be fired once dry and transformed into terracotta. There is an additional cost of £10 on collection of the fired nude.

Suitable for

Admission

£110 (£100 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/terracotta-nudes-16-june/

Fresco Secco

  • 23 June 2015 10am-4pm

Artist and designer Melissa White specialises in reproducing Elizabethan wall paintings and has developed a technique based on the principals of Fresco Secco (painting on dry plaster).

Create a Fresco Secco wall panel (24cm2) with a choice of letter finished in gold or silver leaf and patinated. Learn about natural paints, image transfer, gilding and waxing. Your finished panel will make the perfect personalised gift.

Suitable for

Admission

£110 (£100 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/fresco-secco-23-june/

Oil Painting Masterclass

  • 30 June 2015 10am-4pm

Vanessa Bell descried the garden at Charleston in Summer as a “dithering blaze of flowers and butterflies...” Charleston is first and foremost an Artist’s garden, designed and planted with painting in mind. Both the walled garden and surrounding gardens offer endless possibilities for painters.

This higher level masterclass, with painter Tom Benjamin, will look at approaches to composition and structure, with particular emphasis on colour and light. Painters will have a private tour of the Collection, and exclusive access to the grounds.  Charleston will be closed to the general public.

Suitable for

Admission

£100 (£90 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/oil-painting-masterclass-30-june/

Indian Flower Painting

  • 6 July 2015 10am-4pm

Small is beautiful. Learn how to draw and paint in this most seductive and elusive style, characterised by intricate and delicate brushwork, and strong jewel colours.

Learn and develop the techniques of opaque watercolour painting, colour filling, burnishing, outlining and shading using a single hair brush, and create a beautiful miniature of your own.

Suitable for

Admission

£100 (£90 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/indian-flower-painting-6-july/

Life Drawing En Plein Air

  • 11 July 2015 10am-1pm
  • 15 August 2015 10am-1pm

Continuing the rich legacy of life drawing at Charleston, artist and teacher Silvia MacRae Brown leads a morning of drawing from a life model in the peaceful setting of the Charleston orchard.  Easels and all materials will be provided.

Suitable for

Admission

£40 (£35 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/landscape-painting-18-july/

Pattern Design

  • 14 July 2015 10am-4pm

This workshop explores how to use pattern in striking and dramatic ways.

The day will begin with an overview of the history of pattern design, from geometry in Islamic Art to the Omega Workshops. This will be followed with a private tour, focusing on at the use of pattern in the House.

In the afternoon, discover how to use pattern in your own interiors – on walls, soft furnishings, to personalise stationary or scarves. Design your own motif, and create your own lino-cut printing block to take away.

Suitable for

Admission

£100 (£90 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/pattern-design-14-july/

Landscape Painting

  • 18 July 2015 10am-4pm

Walk from Charleston onto the open chalk Downland, a spectacular landscape that artist Julian Le Bas returns to in his work from season to season. In this inspiring and powerful setting, you will paint directly from the landscape. Tuition and guidance will focus on creating a unified composition, structure, and the handling of oil and acrylic paints. All abilities are welcome.

The group will walk for approimately 30 minutes, the ground will be uneven, and there will be inclines.

The class will try to continue, even if the weather is unfavourable, so please come prepared. If rain becomes heavy, the class will take place in the Barn at Charleston.

Suitable for

Admission

£100 (£90 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/landscape-painting-18-july/

A Gay Outing

  • 26 July 2015 6-8pm

Body building magazines such as Physique Pictorial had a big influence on the output of British male homosexual artists working in the post second world war period.

Duncan Grant used British and American magazines as influence for a large amount of private homo-erotic work. Charleston’s curator, Dr Darren Clarke explores Grant’s responses to this source material and also considers those of a younger generation of artists including David Hockney, Keith Vaughan and Francis Bacon. Strictly over 16s.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£20 (£15 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/events-performance/a-gay-outing-26-july/

Animation Summer School

  • 27 — 29 July 2015

A great, hands-on introduction to stop-frame animation for young people, covering every stage of the filmmaking process from planning to completion. Participants will script and storyboard an original short animated film and work in small groups to produce animated sequences. They will also be shown how to edit and add sound, create title sequences and export their finished films.

Suitable for

Admission

£175 (£150 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/animation-summer-school/

Young Bohemians: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • 17 — 21 August 2015

Years ago, performances of a Midsummer Night’s Dream were held on the banks of the pond at Charleston on summer evenings. 

All week, the Young Bohemians will create their own production of this enchanting comedy.

Set, props and costume will be made from scratch, parts learnt, friends made, all culminating in a magical end-of –week performances for families and friends.

Suitable for ages 8 - 14.

Suitable for

Admission

£275 (£250 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/young-bohemians-a-midsummer-nights-dream/

An Introduction to Drawing

  • 24 August 2015 10am-4pm

it is only by drawing often, drawing everything, drawing incessantly, that one fine day you discover to your surprise that you have rendered something in its true character.' Camille Pissarro

This is a day of pure drawing for beginners. We focus on technique, looking at line, tone, shape and form and colour, to discover that beautiful drawing is not magic but a learnt skill.

Suitable for

Admission

£100 (£90 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/an-introduction-to-drawing-24-august/

Stained Glass

  • 25 August 2015 10am-5pm

Hand craft a beautiful, leaded stained glass window panel.

Learn the traditional techniques of cutting, leading and soldering, cementing and polishing to create a decorative panel that will capture and colour the light as it streams into your home.

All tools and materials are provided.  Please wear old clothes and sturdy shoes!

Suitable for

Admission

£110 (£100 Friends)

Website

http://www.charleston.org.uk/products-page/workshops-masterclasses/stained-glass-25-august/

advertisement