I was delighted to be among artists exhibiting at Farley Farm House for seasons (April to October 2013 and 2014) in its Sculpture Garden. Farley Farm was the home to the photographer Lee Miller and the painter and biographer of Picasso, Roland Penrose.
Lee Miller, Roland Penrose and their son Antony moved to Farley Farm House in 1949 and the house soon became a meeting place for the leading figures in the world of Modern Art. Pablo Picasso came here in 1950, and Max Ernst, Joan Miro, Man Ray, Echaurren Matta and Antoni Tapies visited from overseas whilst Eileen Agar, Kenneth Armitage, William Turnbull, John Craxton and Richard Hamilton formed the British contingent.
Family Tree (2012) at Farley Farm House in the Sculpture Garden
Female Form at Farley Farm House in the Sculpture Garden
Works by many of these artists are displayed in the house in a selection that regularly changes as items are loaned to exhibitions around the world. For the most part the house is just as it was when it was occupied by the Penrose family with the same furnishing and décor. Lee Miller’s kitchen looks as though she has just popped out to gather vegetables from the garden and Roland Penrose’s study only lacks the aroma of his cigar smoke. Farley Farm House is alive and vibrant today as it documents Surrealism and Modern Art, the most exciting art movements of the 20th Century and in so doing informs our present day culture.
Because of the unique intimacy of Farley Farm House all visits are by guided tour.
Farley Farm House Tours Farley Farm House Chiddingly Muddles Green Nr Lewes, BN8 6HW ++44(0) 1825 872 856
Sunday Tours: 50 minute guided tours every Sunday (April - October) Group Tours: 50 minute guided tours available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for groups of between 12 and 45 visitors by advance arrangement. Extended Tours: A 3 hour visit hosted by Antony Penrose and his daughter Ami Bouhassane. Available for individual and group bookings. All visitors enter through Farley Farm Gallery adjacent to the house. This gallery space has a programme of exhibitions throughout the tours season. Tea, Coffee and soft drinks are available.
The Sculpture Garden surrounding the house was designed by Roland Penrose and has wonderful views of the south downs.
In the house a small gift shop stocks a range of books, catalogues, post cards and other merchandise related to Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. Age suitability: Farley Farm House recommends that the Sunday Tours are only suitable for ages 12+ and that the Extended Tour is suitable for ages 15+. The content of their tours and some items within the collection make it unsuitable for younger children.