April 23, 2009

KCWC Lee Miller and Standen

Our first stop was to Farley Farm House (no photos), home of Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. Considering his childhood, their son Antony Penrose has been generous in his tribute to his parents. His daughter, Ami Bouhassane, gave us a great tour. She calmly acknowledged the good (a Picasso tile over the stove) and the bad (Lee Miller was a difficult mother). The home is packed with famous art.

We ate lunch at the Six Bells where rumour has it that Picasso (frequent visitor to Farley Farm House) offered a sketch to pay for his bill but was refused -- cash only.

We then proceeded to the National Trust property Standen for a home tour. Standen was built 1892-4 for James Beale and his family. One of the reasons Beale chose this location was because it was close to the East Grinstead station in case he needed to get back to London quickly (he was a London solicitor). His wife was an avid gardener, keeping diaries complete enough for the National Trust to recreate the landscape. This Arts and Crafts home showcases William Morris wallpapers and textiles.

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