Van Gogh’s London

As I have previously mentioned, I have long been an enormous fan of London as a travel destination. In fact, during the previous century I even wrote a travel guidebook for budget travel to the British capital. But I was surprised to discover that there is a small museum in the Stockwell neighborhood dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh and his time living in the very same house.

In 1873, Van Gogh moved to London to work for the family’s art dealership. Although he had some success in the business, little is known about the painter’s time in Britain. He rented rooms in a modest house in Stockwell, but was apparently involved in a love triangle with his landlady’s young daughter Eugenia Loyer and was forced to exit London for Paris to escape parental wrath.

Little was known about Van Gogh’s London sojourn, and in fact the location of his London lodgings was a mystery until 1971 when a drawing was found of the house at 87 Hackfor Road. While it was known that Van Gogh had lived in Stockwell, the precise address had yet to be determined. The 87 Hackford Road’s link to the artist was only discovered in 1971 by postman and avid Van Gogh enthusiast Paul Chalcroft, who took it upon himself to locate Van Gogh’s London home during a postal strike.

The house at 87 Hackford Road is a Grade II listed building that has been renovated and conserved by the Wang family. Built in the 1820s, by 2012 the house had fallen into a state of disrepair. Fortunately, the building was  purchased at auction by James Wang and Alice Childs, who saw the potential to restore the property and turn it into a museum and art center. Since 2019, the house has been open for events centered on Van Gogh’s career, exhibitions by local artists,and local heritage displays. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday 12 to 6PM.

 

 

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