We are delighted to announce that we have now paid the final donations promised over the last two years, a total of £18,316, to support the restoration project at Gunnersbury.
Our gift of £6,616 provided the partnership funding required to release a grant of £73,512 from Historic England. This enabled work to proceed on restoring the elegant gothick arcade and terraces near Princess Amelia’s Bath-house in the north-east corner of the Park. These were once part of the separate garden of the Small Mansion.
The Museum is famous for its collection of historic clothing and textiles but as these are vulnerable to light damage they should only be displayed for short periods. Displays of costume often change more frequently than other parts of museums, and many garments were made for one individual, so it is very desirable to have supports which are adjustable. The Museum wished to commission such supports. However, at £15,000 the cost of these bespoke items proved to be much higher than expected, so we have contributed £8,000 towards their purchase.
We were delighted to fund the conservation and framing of the Maxwell Ashby Armfield painting of Gunnersbury of about 1933, acquired at auction in 2016. The cost was £2,570. This very beautiful view of the Park, painted only a few years after it opened, can now be seen on the landing of the main stair in the Museum. The artist was looking towards the Large Mansion from the Horseshoe Pond beside the Orangery, where people are picnicking and playing games.
Finally, we contributed £1,130 towards the purchase of the £28,000 silver and enamel panel completed by Nelson and Edith Dawson of Chiswick in 1923. The image is of Simon Stylites on the top of his pillar. Our money completed the amount required from local sources by the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.