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“Don't just pass by.......”

Dorich House Museum
Ranked #825 of 1,906 things to do in London
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Museum, which is the former home of the internationally acclaimed Estonian Sculptor Dora Gordine (1895-1991), holds the major collection of her bronzes, paintings and drawings, and a superb collection of Russian Imperial Art, gathered by her husband, the Hon. Richard Hare. The two studios, gallery and top floor apartment were all designed by Gordine herself in 1935/6.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 20 November 2015

I have passed this eye catching building for many years. My first visit was well overdue and the feeling and surprise of the house means that I won't spoil it by describing it. You need to experience the house and contents. Our welcome was warm and our tour was excellent; I am glad that I didn't visit without the tour. By chance there were folk on the tour who had met the sculptress and actually dined at the house. The personal account was a real bonus. It is an absolute delight and I look forward to introducing the house to friends. Oh, and thank you for the coffee - very welcome.

Date of experience: November 2015
Thank Mistie20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 October 2015

This is a little known house, but it is an absolute gem.
Designed by the now largely forgotten but, in her day, very famous sculptress Dora Gordine to work in, to show off her work, and to live in with her aristocratic husband, the Hon Richard Hare. There are broadly speaking four reasons to visit:the architecture of the house itself, Gordine's sculptures, the collection of Russian artefacts they accumulated in the post-war period, and the fascinating story of their lives.

Two floors for working and display of sculpture, a third floor flat where they lived in great happiness until his early death in 1966, and a modernist Roof Terrace.

My favourites: the sculpture of Chinese Philosopher, the sculpture Walking Male Torso, the monumental sculpture, Power, comisioned by Esso for the Milford Haven oil refinery, and the Chinese Moon Doors linking the reception rooms of the flat.

An excellent and informed Tou guide helped make this an unexpectedly interesting place.

Date of experience: October 2015
1  Thank DeCoucey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Dora Gordine was not a name I had encountered before. But apparently she became a celebrated sculptor and architect who hailed originally from Latvia (but who did nothing to dispel rumours she was an emigre Russian) exhibiting with the famous Leicester Galleries in the 1930s. She married her second husband in almost indecent haste only a week after she had finally divorced her first). Without the first she would not have got her UK citizenship (but bizarrely went off with him to Singapore); without the landed inherited wealth of her second she would not have been able to have had built Dorich House (which she herself designed) the ground and first floors of which served and her grand professional studios; the second her more modest living quarters. Today a guided tour started with an audio-visual presentation which didn't really explain where she studied sculpture or painting or otherwise nurtured her evidently considerable talents. There then followed a tour of what is frozen in time as her working studio, with examples of her work on display including two busts of Kenneth Clarke (neither of which the Tate wanted to borrow for their current exhibition), one of actress Dorothy Tutin her features frozen for the Chehkov role she was performing at the time, a nude torso of Edith Evans fresh from her dalliance with Michael Redgrave. The display of her second husband's Russian art works and icons is much finished as many had to be sold to pay for its restoration. In the 1950s Gordine appears to have fallen out of favour. On her death no major institution wanted to take over her home, until Kingston University brought it under its umbrella a few years ago and are now carrying out a thorough restoration of the house which declined with its owner after the death of her second husband in the last twenty years of her life. These building works prevented a visit to the roof terrace, but our informative guide took us into the garden instead to point out ancient hornbeams, a mulberry bush and a boundary wall which once separated the estate from Henry VIII's hunting grounds.

Date of experience: July 2014
1  Thank futtock21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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