Creatives in Kingston | Gordine, Hare & Muybridge

Dora Gordine and Richard on the roof terrace at Dorich House, image courtesy of Historic England.


Whilst we are closed to the public as a result of Covid-19, Dorich House Museum and our partner venue Stanley Picker Gallery are sending a weekly newsletter to the Gallery’s subscribers, highlighting previous projects, collection objects and an activity suggestion to keep you inspired and creative at home. In celebration of the 190th anniversary of the birth of Victorian photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) the theme for today’s newsletter, Thursday 9 April is Muybridge in Kingston. Born in Kingston upon Thames in 1830, Muybridge’s innovative photographic studies of humans and animals in motion influenced the development of modern cinema.

Following a trail-blazing career in America, Muybridge returned to live in Kingston. Not far from his Liverpool Road home is Dorich House, the 1930s studio home of Dora Gordine (1895-1991) and her husband the Hon. Richard Hare (1907-1966). Kingston’s leafy suburbs proved an ideal location for Gordine and Hare, giving easy access to the cultural life of London and the tranquility and open outlook that Gordine favoured for her work. As Country Life magazine described, in 1938, the setting on Kingston Vale was crucial to the conception of Dorich House.

‘In the first place, the site was a matter of infinite importance; and the one eventually found, with its lovely view over the noble trees of Richmond Park, could hardly be bettered. Having found a nearly perfect situation, the very most has been made of its advantages. From the flat roof the whole panorama of the Park and the distant tree-clad hills unfolds around one: it enables Dora Gordine to work on a figure intended for a garden ornament actually in its intended setting, under the sky…’
(M. Barron, Country Life, 5 November 1938).

Dorich House Museum is one of many museums, galleries and heritage sites of interest in Kingston and the surrounding West London area. The Museum is part of West London Wonders, along with Headstone Manor & Museum, Gunnersbury Park & Museum, London Museum of Water & Steam, Fulham Palace, the Hearsum Collection at Pembroke Lodge, Strawberry Hill House, The Twickenham Museum, Orleans House Gallery, the Museum of Richmond and nearby Kingston Museum. Kingston Museum and Heritage Service are home to one of the most significant collections of Muybridge’s work, a unique personal collection which he left to The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames upon his death in 1904.

Today, the Kingston Museum and Heritage Service launches a year-long programme celebrating Muybridge’s achievements. Kingston Museum invites you to join in celebrating Muybridge’s birthday with @rbkheritage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and find out more information about the programme here. These celebrations mark a unique partnership between Kingston University and The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames which will see some of Kingston Museum’s Muybridge collection archived at Kingston University’s brand new Town House building designed by Grafton Architects.

View this week’s newsletter online here and visit the Stanley Picker Gallery website to subscribe.

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