For an artist, the studio is not merely a space to create but a sanctuary from the outside world, a meeting place and on a good day, a site of reflection and discovery. Studios are also usually off limits but many have been donated to museums upon an artist’s passing and lovingly preserved. We select a few of our favourites that are open to the public.
Barbara Hepworth Studio, St. Ives
Trewyn Studio serves as an invaluable legacy of one of Britain’s most inventive sculptors. Now managed by the Tate, it was first set up by Hepworth in 1949 after she relocated to St Ives during the outbreak of WWII with her then-husband, Ben Nicholson. Visitors can explore her extensive working spaces including a carving studio, two outdoor studios and the charming garden she designed together with composer, Prialux Rainier. The space is on every St. Ives itinerary so arrive early doors to avoid the crowds.
Francis Bacon Studio, Dublin
Transported from its original site in London, Bacon’s studio is now housed at Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin as a nod to the artist’s birthplace. Every single detail is as Bacon left it, with every champagne bottle, crumpled note and paint pot reconstructed in painstakingly in detail and taking three years to complete. A rare and fascinating glimpse into the mind and practice of one of the most compelling painters of the 20th century.
The Hardman’s House, Liverpool
A veritable time capsule from the 1950s, this former home and studio belonged to renowned photographer Edward Chambré Hardman who lived and worked here with his wife Margaret. The compact house is the only known intact photography studio from the 20th century and contains the couple’s living space, working studios, darkrooms and offices. The space is beautifully preserved and presented in detail including Hardman’s cameras, photographic equipment and vintage ephemera of the time.
Eduardo Paolozzi Studio, Edinburgh
Permanently housed at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, this recreation of the studio of Italian-Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi is a vivid record of his dynamic and multi-stranded practice and wide range of interests. Filled with his personal material, plaster maquette, tools, countless books and idiosyncratic collection of found objects, this reconstruction displays the exciting journeys Paolozzi took through his practice.
Henry Moore Studio, Hertfordshire
Situated at Moore’s former home, visitors can acess his iconic sculptures within the intimacy of the place where they were created. The house Moore shared with his wife Irina Radetsky provides a unique look at the couple’s domestic space, personal collections and daily life. The extensive gardens designed by Radetsky also serve as a unique setting to experience Moore’s work and enjoy the beauty of the landscape that inspired their creation.