|Spring Awakening For Emery Walker's House|
Beautifully preserved Arts & Crafts home will reopen shortly following its restoration
Image - Anna Kunst
The best preserved Arts & Crafts home in Britain, Emery Walker's house, will reopen on April 20th after an 18 month closure for vital restoration work. However their new website, with information and images about the house and its former owner, has launched today (22 March).
Emery Walker’s House at 7 Hammersmith Terrace, London, was the home of one of the key members of The Arts & Crafts Movement, a close friend of William Morris and father of the Private Press movement.
The contents of his riverside home in West London – around 6,000 items - were removed for cataloguing and conservation. This allowed vital repair work, including the replacement of the roof, to be carried out, creating a safer environment for the house’s remarkable collection.
The project has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Arts & Crafts Hammersmith project, a joint initiative with the William Morris Society, for which match funding has been found from charitable trusts and individual donations.
The collection has now been returned to this atmospheric time capsule which is packed with Arts & Crafts treasures, including one of the largest in situ collections of Morris & Co wallpapers in the world and outstanding textiles and embroideries. Amongst Walker’s many possessions are items which were created especially for, or given to him by his close friends and colleagues; leading artists of their day.
These include Morris's 17th Century Library chair, Philip Webb furniture and glass, ceramics by William de Morgan and a Burne-Jones portrait of May Morris. Other, very personal possessions include a lock of Morris's hair, snipped off on his deathbed, and a mould of Philip Webb’s ears. This multi layered and eclectic mix of belongings, all with their own fascinating and personal pedigree, makes this a unique house museum, perfectly embodying the Arts & Crafts aesthetic.
Extended opening hours means visitors can now step back in time on Thursdays and Saturdays when there will be three tours a day. These must be pre-booked online, as the size and fragile interiors of this Georgian, terraced house makes it possible for only eight visitors to enter at a time. Visitors are accompanied by an expert guide and steward, making it a unique and intimate experience with a new exhibition space offering the chance for visitors to get close to and even handle some of the objects in the collection. The house has extended its tour season until November 25th and has launched a new website prior to reopening to include more information on the house, its inhabitants and history www.emerywalker.org.uk.