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Our exhibition has now been open for three months. If you have not yet been able to visit, there are still three months left for you to do so. We have received some lovely feedback about the exhibition from volunteers, visitors, and people who know Upton and the work of Lord Bearsted with the Whitechapel Gallery. The reasons for the exhibition at Upton House are very relevant and, therefore, we thought we would shed some light on the work we did before the launch in September.


Work started earlier in the year when a volunteer discovered the relationship between Lord Bearsted and the Whitechapel Gallery. The 2nd Lord Bearsted was chairman of the gallery from 1942 until his death in 1947, when the Trustees unanimously decided to elect his son, the 3rd Lord Bearsted, as Chairman. In 1950 the gallery held an exhibition called Painters Progress. The aim of this exhibition was to make art accessible to the public. Artists submitted a picture of themselves in their studio, as well as a set of bibliographical notes, in order that people could try to understand their art.

Whitechapel Gallery

The Whitechapel Gallery

The exhibition we have created celebrates Lord Bearsted’s relationship with the gallery and is in the spirit of the original 1950 exhibition. One of our first tasks was to set up a volunteer project group. Each member of the group researched the work of an artist or two. A focus on art of the time, and what influenced each artist, has created a fascinating context to the exhibition.

Lord B

2nd Lord Bearsted

We worked in partnership with the Arts Council and the Arts Council Collection to display the paintings that were, mostly, in store before our exhibition. Installing the exhibition itself, working in partnership with the Arts Council and their curator, plus a local design company, was a lot of work for the team at Upton. It took a week to hang the paintings, adjust the lighting, prepare the space and add final details. Our volunteers were invited to the launch of the exhibition before it opened to the general public.


A video showing different stages to installing our exhibition.


The exhibition will be open 12 – 4pm from Thursday 26th December to Wednesday January 1st. It will also be open at weekends through January and February. On February 15th the whole property opens for 6 days a week. Normal admission charges apply, so why not come along and explore the exhibition for yourself? We would love to hear what you think #UptonArt or on Facebook.


In the meantime we are busy planning our next exhibition!