Newsletter March 2019

News and Activities from Turner’s House, and the Friends of Turner’s House

We aim to celebrate J.M.W. Turner’s artistic achievement through encouraging visitors to discover the house he designed and built, and the Thames landscape which inspired him. Through conserving and interpreting Turner’s House, we aim to build a deeper engagement with Turner as an artist.



A Message from the Chair

It is good to report that Turner’s House Supporters’ Circle has now recruited its first members. As an independent charity, the Trust will always need to fundraise in order to keep Sandycombe Lodge open and flourishing, as it has done so successfully in the short time since the completion of our major conservation project. Your support for our work in this way would be enormously valuable. Do please consider joining us – details are on our website

On 27 April, I will lead a walk from Sandycombe Lodge, Walking in Turner’s Footsteps along the Thames, over Richmond Bridge and up to the top of Richmond Hill, pausing to consider the viewpoints of some of Turner’s most famous paintings, and also some which are less well-known. It would be great to see some of you there – if this interests you, please book through

My time as Chair of the Trust will end early next month. So far, a new Chair has not been identified; however the Board of Trustees is very robust and will be well able to run the Trust’s business until Mr/Mrs/Ms Right is found.

It seems a very long time ago that my chance conversation with Sandycombe’s owner, Professor Harold Livermore, started the ideas that have led to the conservation of Turner’s House and the wonderful asset to our cultural community that it has now become. Very many thanks for all your support over the last 15 years.

Catherine Parry-Wingfield

Chair, Turner’s House Trust


News from the House Director

Our new exhibition ‘Miniature Lands of Myth and Legend’ opened on February 1st and has been a great success. The exhibition focuses on J.M.W. Turner as a book illustrator and includes 23 engravings associated with Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works and The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte. Many visitors have commented on the vibrant use of yellow in the room and inquired about its name. It is called ‘Wild Canary’ and is available from Papers and Paints. The exhibition will run for much of the season and an exhibition brochure is also included in admission.

In other news we are delighted to welcome onboard Janis Booth, a former Turner’s House volunteer, who has taken on the role of Heritage Assistant. You will see Janis in the house most weekends.

If you are thinking of bringing a pre-booked group, our excellent guides will take you round and we can offer these tours between 10.00 and 12.00 noon, as well as at our standard tour times of 1.00, 2.00 and 3.00 pm. We can also offer special tours for groups which give added insight into various aspects of the house’s history and its conservation – these last about an hour and are for groups of up to 10. The tours can also be arranged to take place before the house opens to the public. For more information please email me at

The garden at Turner’s House is just beginning to wake up from its winter sleep. It will soon be alive with spring colour so why not enjoy the new season whilst visiting the house?

House Director, Ricky Pound



Upcoming Events

Printmaking Workshop – for beginners
17 April, 10am-4pm
£50, materials and lunch included
Back by popular demand, join us for an enjoyable printmaking workshop with local artist Sasa Marinkov, inspired by our temporary exhibition, ‘Miniature Lands of Myth & Memory’ of prints Turner created for Sir Walter Scotts books.
Please book by phone 020 8892 5485 or email

Family Easter Storytelling

19 April, 10.30am and 11.30am
Children FREE, adults £7
recommended for ages 1-8yrs
Discover the watery adventure of Mr Turner and listen to tales of the magical River Thames in this interactive storytelling session with storyteller Olivia Armstrong.
No booking required.


Weekend Volunteering at Turners House

Do you have a passion for history and enjoy talking to people? Turner’s House Trust is looking for passionate weekend volunteer guides to tell the fascinating story of J.M.W. Turner and his house at Twickenham. If you are interested please email Thank you!


The Turner Society

Friends of Turner’s House may be unaware but their membership also allows them entrance to lectures arranged by The Turner Society.

Next month, Nicola Moorby will speak on ‘Turner’s Italian Odyssey: An In-Depth Look at the Italian Sketchbooks of 1819 and 1828’. The lecture will be at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 16 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA on 24 April 2019, 6 for 6.30pm. Nicola Moorby has been a long-term member of the team preparing the Tate’s new online catalogue of the Turner Bequest and has, in particular, worked on the sketchbooks of the 1819 and 1828 Italian tours. Entry is free, without ticket. Wine will be served after the lecture.

The Turner Society was founded in 1975 and has members worldwide. It is devoted to furthering the appreciation and understanding of the art of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), who was not only Britain’s greatest painter but arguably the finest landscape and marine painter ever.

Turner was enormously prolific, producing some 550 oil paintings, over 2,000 highly detailed and finely finished watercolours, and some 30,000 works on paper.

His bequest to the nation is without doubt the greatest artistic legacy ever bestowed upon the United Kingdom (it is housed in Tate Britain, London, except for a few key works kept at the National Gallery).

The Society regularly mounts lectures and informal talks given by the world’s leading experts on the painter; it organises out-of-hours viewings of important public exhibitions of his work, as well as visits to the Prints and Drawing Room at Tate Britain where the Turner Bequest works on paper are held; and it arranges trips to see private collections that include works by Turner. In addition, it publishes a fine magazine, Turner Society News, which goes to all members twice a year, and it works tirelessly to deepen awareness of the range and power of Turner’s astonishing genius.



New and Events from The Friends of Turner’s House

Pitzhanger Manor has now reopened to the public!

Friends Visit to Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing

Friends enjoyed a visit to Pitzhanger Manor on its public opening on 16 March, after a £12 million restoration. There was much to see and do. In the Drawing Room Friends listened to a harpist and conversed with the 19th century Sir John and Eliza Soane before viewing the magnificent interiors and grounds. Although Pitzhanger is much grander than Sandycombe, there are many features to suggest the influence its owner and architect, Sir John Soane, may have had on Turner. The curves of Sandycombe’s hall arches are seen extensively in Pitzhanger’s doorways, walls and windows, whilst a clear lozenge shaped skylight floods the stairwell with natural light. This light is further reflected through amber glass inside the house, suffusing the reception hall with gold. Decorations also suggest Sandycombe. Hallways display faux marbling to both wall and skirting, and a dense, leaf-print wallpaper covers the main bedroom.



A table was laid for a dinner party (see above), the guests identified at the table by embroidered place settings. Here, among representatives of the arts and nobility, we found Turner, the “family friend”. Turner’s House at nearby Sandycombe and Pitzhanger Manor would also have been used as bases for fishing, as Turner and Soane regularly fished the Rivers Brent and Thames and brought back their catches alive to be relocated to the ponds they both had in their gardens. With Turner, one pictures ‘old dad’ out at the pond attempting to recatch the fish in order to cook and serve supper!

So please do go and experience this captivating house.

Further information at


Spring Lecture

On Wednesday 27 March 2019, Nick Powell, secretary of the Turner Society, gave a fascinating talk on ‘Turner’s Titles’. Accompanied by slides, he spoke about the variety and themes of titles Turner allocated to his works and how they have been interpreted. At the lecture, a cheque for £2000 was presented by the Friends to the Trust.


Turner’s Birthday Celebration – Tuesday 23 April

For our celebration of Turner’s birthday this year, we are arranging a Sketching Picnic on Richmond Hill. Taking the view across the river as our subject, we will have an informal session with people of all abilities welcome. Paper and pencils will be provided, but please do bring your own materials or paints as you wish. If your creative response to this beautiful view lies more in photography, feel free to bring your camera. After meeting at the Roebuck pub, Richmond Hill at 12pm (midday), we will cross the road to find a suitable place to picnic (bring your own), after which we will start sketching at 1pm, finishing about 3pm. It would be advisable to bring something to sit on. There is no charge for this event, but please do book a place by contacting to let us know numbers, and also in case bad weather forces a cancellation.


Annual General Meeting and Summer Party

The AGM and summer party will be held on Wednesday, 12 June at 18;00 in the Hyde Room at York House followed by the Summer Party which will start at 6.30pm in the salon. Papers will be sent out nearer the time.


March 31, 2019