Beautiful & Useful Craft Fair
this Sunday!

Don’t miss our annual Craft Fair this weekend if you’ve got some Christmas shopping to do: we’re filling the museum with some of our favourite designer-makers so you can support small businesses and gift your loved ones something special handmade by artisans this Christmas. We’ll have ceramics, textiles, knitwear, jewellery, prints, candles, leather goods and lots more.

Tickets include entry to the museum, with an optional ticket upgrade available on site if you’d like to see the exhibition Lucian Freud: Plant Portraits.

Sun 4 December, 10.30am – 5pm
£7 Standard, £6 Young Fronds, Free for Friends

Book tickets

The Garden Museum granted National Portfolio Organisation status

We are over the moon to announce that the Garden Museum was recently successful in our application to Arts Council England to become a National Portfolio Organisation! This funding will allow us to develop three areas of work: our activities for families, free events bringing our Nave space to life, and festivals and fairs including the return of our Festival of Fairytales and a new Winter Flowers Week.

We are hugely grateful to Arts Council England and DCMS for their funding to help us achieve our vision for the future of the museum 2023-2026.

Lucian Freud Exhibition Catalogue out now!

Our new catalogue accompanying the exhibition Lucian Freud: Plant Portraits is beautifully illustrated with examples of Freud’s plant paintings and etchings, with an introduction by Garden Museum curator Emma House and an essay by guest curator Giovanni Aloi, as well as interviews with Freud’s longtime studio assistant David Dawson, and daughter Annie Freud. To celebrate its release, we’re sharing an extract from the conversation between Giovanni Aloi and David Dawson:

David: Has Annie [Freud] told you about the zimmerlinde?

Giovanni: Yes, she did. I found the whole story very fascinating. Do you recall anything interesting about Lucian’s relationship with plants in his studio?

David: Yes, my impression is that Lucian painted plants when life tended to become tumultuous and his relationships with other people were strained. Or when he simply could not find a model to paint.

Giovanni: That’s interesting. It also appears clear, looking at Freud’s body of work, that he painted the same plant multiple times. Am I right? Are these the same plants in each work?

David: Yes, they are, and I still have some of them in my garden. I still keep them here—the zimmerlinde in Large Interior Paddington (1969) sits outside in its large pot. The aspidistra Lucian painted in Two Plants (1980) is out there too. He painted it again in a work with me and Eli laying on the bed (David and Eli, 2003). Aspidistra is called the “cast iron plant” for a reason. It is indestructible! There was also the imposing pelargonium behind the sofa in Large Interior (After Watteau) 1981. The plants tend to live their own lives in the studio and he let them do their thing. The way he dealt with plants was very much in line with how he led his life…

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Christmas at the Garden Café

Host your Christmas party at the Garden Café! We’re taking bookings for groups of eight or more on our Christmas menu throughout December, available for lunch every day, as well as Tuesday and Friday evenings up until our last service of the year, lunch on Friday 23 December.

Bookings by email only – contact

Christmas menu

Freud’s Fruit Cookery Workshop Series: Apples

This workshop series led by our Food Educator Ceri Jones is inspired by the fruits in Lucian Freud’s paintings. Each of the fruits we have chosen from his work take us seasonally through autumn to winter and are paired with complementary ingredients to create a two-course vegetarian lunch, which you will enjoy after a hands-on class learning how to cook. December’s class celebrates the apple!

Celeriac & apple soup with toasted hazelnuts
Cheese, apple, & thyme soda bread
Apple galette with vanilla crème fraiche

Thurs 8 December, 11am – 1pm

Book tickets

Object of the Week: ‘The Rites of Spring’
Procession Pamphlet

By Alice Ridgway, Archivist

Last week I was surprised to see a pamphlet announcing ‘Rites of Spring’ flash past as I leafed through some American field notes in the Joy Larkcom archive. A further glance informed me of a ritual pageant of giant puppets and mobile sculptures. In this pageant, Gaia, the earth goddess, is kidnapped by New York developers. Her release depends on the butterfly angel guide and its nature spirits…

The modest black-and-white programme clearly needed further investigation. Reading through, I found it to be packed full of information about ‘Rites of Spring’ the 6th annual celebratory procession to protect over 50 New York community gardens. It seemed to be an exciting event:


SUNDAY MAY 26, 1996



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Images: Beautiful & Useful Craft Fair (c) Graham Lacdao; Festival of Fairytales (c) Francis Augusto; Still Life with Zimmerlinde, c.1950 Freud, Lucian (1922-2011) Credit: Private Collection. Photo © Christie’s Images/© The Lucian Freud Archive. All Rights Reserved 2022/Bridgeman Images; Cooking class at the Garden Museum (c) Graham Lacdao