What’s your favourite artwork from the collection? What’s your favourite memory of the gallery?

This blog features works from the Orleans House Gallery collection selected by people like you. Let us know what’s your favourite work and why. We shall upload the artwork and your explanation on this website!

We are also gathering memories of your time at Orleans House Gallery. Anecdotes, incidents, stories, myths – all count! Share with us your favourite! We shall upload it on the blog too!

Send your memory or choice of work via e-mail to: Artsinfo@richmond.gov.uk

Sir John Thomas Selwin Ibbetsin, Twickenham Riverside (St Mary’s Church)- selected by James Savage

Selected by James Savage

Selected by James Savage

I have selected a painting by John Thomas Selwin Ibbetsin. It is a subject covered by a postcard that has been at times available in the shop, though probably not one that is as popular as some of the other postcard views including those of Pope’s villa.

The appeal for me is in the overall colouring, the composition and placing of the ferry and its depiction of a rural riverside scene as the eye is led along the lane past what we now know as the White Swan and into the sweep around the Riverside Gardens and past the church with the distant view of Radnor Gardens in the distance.

I suspect, although my recollection cannot be sure, that I first saw the picture on my first visit to Orleans Gallery, and you may be somewhat surprised at my certainty at this – due entirely I must confess to a diary record rather than a fading memory – on Sunday 17th July, 1988 and which the diary also records as the last day of Pope’s Exhibition.

Henry Pether Twickenham by Moonlight – selected by Tony McSweeney

Selected by Tony

Selected by Tony McSweeney

My favourite painting in the collection is Henry Pether’s ‘Twickenham by Moonlight’ It’s a breathtaking painting, easily equal to the moonlit scenes painted by Atkinson Grimshaw. I have used moonlight in a lot of my paintings, so I always seek this work out when it’s on show, to refesh my imagination and work out how he did it.

Albert Letchford Richard Burton’s Study – selected by Jem Panufnik

selected by Sasa Marinkov

selected by Jem Panufnik

I am honoured to have been asked to choose my favourite picture from Orleans House Gallery’s permanent collection of amazing artwork.  I knew it would be tricky: as great-grandson to the Rt. Hon. Mrs Nellie Ionides, not only have I inherited her fascination and passion in Twickenham’s romantic past but also out of loyalty I felt I needed to choose something from the rich collection she so generously left to the borough. I owe her a great debt: I have spent a large part of my life living in her magical house next door to the gallery, my entire childhood was spent making camps in Orleans Gardens and many years later I was married in the glorious Octagon Room which she had saved last minute from demolition.

I was pretty sure when I was invited to see all the paintings in the flesh I was likely to pick a view of Richmond Hill – a world-famous and still-unspoilt view she single-handedly rescued from urbanisation.  Sure enough I fell deeply for the paintings of George Hilditch, which record tranquil summer scenes making me long for a time machine.  But then I saw Osmund Caine’s 1947 painting Wedding at Twickenham Parish Church, which I would’ve attributed to another hero of mine, Stanley Spencer.  I also saw a wonderful Hogarth and of course there is Henry Pether’s gorgeous and tranquil Twickenham by Moonlight, which my Uncle Toby (Jessel) had already picked for this very blog.  I quite fancied The Interior of Milo’s Café, Richmond by Philip Poyser which looked to me like something Toulouse Lautrec might have made if he was into Brown Windsor soup instead of saucy can-can dancers.

Then I came across the collection of Richard Burton.  I knew very little of him, other than he seemed quite eccentric and had a taste for the exotic. But seeing the crystal-clear paintings of the rooms in his home, rammed to the hilt full of animal hides, walls covered in ethnic art and crafts, tribal weapons and sculptures, made me feel like I had found a kindred spirit.  When I also discovered his fondness for interesting facial hair and dressing up in fantastical costumes I liked him even more.

So I think my choice, if I can only pick one, would have to be Richard Burton’s Study by Albert Letchford, 1889.  I would have loved to be able to sit in there with Sir Richard, knocking back port as he told me about all his crazy travels.

– Jem Panufnik

William Marlow Orleans House, Twickenham & Unknown Artist Engraving of Governer Pitt’s House & Unknown Artist Engraving of Gardens – selected by Cllr David Marlow

selected by David Marlow

selected by David Marlow

I chose these pictures because they portray the wonders of Twickenham and the town’s historic relationship with the Thames. I was born in Twickenham and enjoyed the Borough’s riverside parks as a child. More recently, Jane and I  married in the Octagon Room, the only surviving part of Orleans House featured in the pictures. We always look forward to our visits to the adjoining Gallery and stables cafe. One of the artists shares my father’s name, William Marlow. I chose three of his paintings to be hung in the Parlour at York House when I was Richmond’s Mayor in 2011/2012. Jane was particularly taken with the painting featuring children walking in the gardens as they have done for hundreds of years.

selected by David Marlow

selected by David Marlow

Selected by David Marlow

Selected by David Marlow

Opening speech delivered at the gallery opening in 1972 by Camilla Panufnik


The Big 4 0 Times

Sir Richard Burton’s Sewing Kit – selected by Eleanor Pile

selected by Eleanor Pile

selected by Eleanor Pile

After being artist in residence at Orleans for the Twickenham Carnival parade themed around explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton a couple of years back, I developed a huge affection for all of the artefacts in The Burton Collection. There is something very powerful about seeing first hand the paraphernalia of a eminent figure’s life, which brings them down out of their gilt frame or off the pages of a history book and into the real world along side you. Add to this the dark enchanting excitement of visiting Burton’s strange stone mausoleum in Mortlake cemetery, where you must climb a metal ladder up the side of the stone ‘tent’ to peer in at the arrangement of yet more personal objects around the coffins of Burton and his wife Isabel, and you have a heady mix. The object I would pick out from the collection as an interesting example is his “housewife” sewing kit. Being able to mend things on the hoof is a vital skill for any explorer, and despite what some boys today might think there is no reason why it should seem out of place in your travel kit next to a homemade pistol or strange and wonderful souvenirs made from human bone…

Eleanor’s work can be viewed here.

The first couple that got married in Octagon Room

first couple that got married in octagon room

Unknown Artist View of Chiswick from the river – selected by L J Clement

selected by L J Clement

selected by L J Clement

lj clement 3

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