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Exhibition: Only There Is LIfe

A special exhibition of paintings, drawings and writings by the artists Edward and Stephani Scott-Snell, created during the period they lived at Kelmscott Manor as "guardians of the most beautiful house in the world".

3rd April - 31 August 2019

William  Morris,  the  great  19th-century  designer-craftsman,  social  activist  and  writer  first  saw Kelmscott  Manor  in  1871.  He  promptly  took  on  the  lease  and  the  67-year  association  of  the  Morris  family  with  Kelmscott  began.  Morris  found  the  Manor's  melancholy  beauty stimulating  to  the  imagination,  and  a  constant  source  of  inspiration.

The  Scott-Snells  were  the  first  tenants  to  occupy  Kelmscott  Manor  following  May  Morris's  death  in  1938,  remaining  there  for  eight  intense  years.  They,  in  their  turn,  responded  to  Kelmscott's  many  qualities  of  atmosphere  and  age,  and  so  added  to  the  Manor's  continuing  creative  legacy. 

Working  closely  together  –  often  on  the  same  painting  –  they  executed  a  significant  volume  of  work,  much  of  which  was  made  in  direct  response  to  the  house  and  its  setting.  Several  of  these  pieces  will  be  on  display  in  the  exhibition,  alongside  other  works  representing  Thessyros,  the  erotically-charged  imaginary  world  central  to  the  pair's  creative  output.   

Both  Edward  and  Stephani  were  devotees  of  William  Morris,  and  toured  local  schools  giving  lectures  about  him  hoping  to  enthuse  the  coming  generation,  as  well  as  create  much-needed  income.  Their  abiding  admiration  for  William  Morris  was  expressed  in  the  book  they  co-authored,  entitled  Warrior  Bard  (published  in  1947),  a  biography  of  their  hero.   

Whilst  living  as  far  from  the  maelstrom  of  the  Second  World  War  as  they  could  get,  Edward  and  Stephanie  penned  many  observations  about  the  remote  Manor  and  its  gardens  in  the  form  of  diary  entries  and  correspondence  –  describing  the  Manor  as  the  most  enchanted  place  on  earth!  Their  writings  reveal  glimpses  into  how  the  house  both  looked  and  functioned  during  the  1940s,  are  used  in  the  exhibition's  interpretation.     

The  exhibition  is  co-curated  by  Dr  Kathy  Haslam  (Heritage  Manager  at  Kelmscott  Manor)  and  Joscelyn  Godwin  Hon  FSA,  Edward  and  Stephani's  younger  son.  Professor  Godwin  recently  edited  The  Starlight  Years:  Love  and  War  at  Kelmscott  Manor  (2015),  constructed  from  selected  letters  and diary  entries  by  Edward  and  Stephani,  and  illustrated  by  several  of  the  paintings  and  drawings  now  in  the  Manor's  collection.   

Admission is included with a purchase of a ticket to the Manor house. 

Click here to book tickets!

On Wednesdays and Saturdays

Until 31st August 2019

Price: Included with Admission

From 11.00am Until 5.00pm


Kelmscott Manor



T: 01367 252486

Kelmscott Manor

Kelmscott Manor

Kelmscott Manor was the inspirational country home of William Morris; poet, designer, craftsman, socialist and founding father of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Kelmscott, Lechlade, GL7 3HJ

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