The new Stickley Hamilton Collection, Lady Waterford Hall

It may be difficult to imagine the circumstances under which Lady Louisa found herself moving to Ford in 1859; recently widowed and childless through fate rather than will, Louisa nonetheless lost no time in commissioning the construction of the school for the benefit of the children whose parents lived and worked on the estate. Her generosity did not stop there however, for in 1862 Louisa began work on the murals that still adorn the walls to this day. They took her 21 years to complete and represent a significant achievement in the Pre-Raphaelite movement, as well as bestowing us a slice of social history that is unique.

Another note of interest regarding the murals is the fact that Louisa invited members of the community to model for her. This included the children, and we still have visitors coming into the hall today who are proud to tell us of their ancestors whose faces help to bring the paintings to life. Many of the samples of Louisa’s work housed in the hall confirm her fascination with children, and this interest only seemed to intensify with the passing years.

It was with these thoughts in mind that the trustees of the Lady Waterford Hall selected a watercolour of children to offer as a raffle prize whilst promoting the new Stickley Hamilton collection of Louisa’s work (pictured) generously gifted by Mr Hamilton of Dorset. The opening evening for showcasing this exciting acquisition, along with over 40 more paintings, will be held in the hall on Thursday 9th September from 7pm. Tickets for the evening include drinks and canapes and are available on our website, while raffle tickets can be purchased directly from Lady Waterford Hall.

To attend the exhibition opening on Thursday 9th September, book your tickets here: Lady Waterford Hall Exhibition Opening – Lady Waterford Hall – Art Tickets.

We look forward to welcoming you there! And don’t worry if you can’t make it – the Stickley Hamilton exhibition will run into 2022.

Jacqueline Kurio, Guide, Lady Waterford Hall

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