Dudmaston Hall – a surprise in Shropshire

Summer in the UK will usually mean a visit to a National Trust property; house and garden ticket and fudge in the shop, tea and cake a must!

However, a surprise was awaiting at Dudmaston Hall in Bridgnorth: modern art as collected by one of the previous owners.

Sir George Labouchere’s travels in the diplomatic service took him all over the world and he clearly had an eye for some wonderful pieces.

EL CINE by Antonio Saura (1963), collage and watercolour located in Gallery II (the Spanish Gallery) at Dudmaston

For this, in the Spanish Gallery, the caption read, “Sir George Labouchere bought this painting from the El Paso group while he was the British Ambassador in Spain during the reign of General Franco.” The crowd, represented in the abstract, stare up at the large screen showing the establishment figures, but the question it asks is, ‘Who is watching who!

It put me in mind of the painting I saw last year in Madrid: Juan Genoves

Max Ernst, Coquillage, 1961, oil on canvas, located in Gallery I (the Modern Gallery) at Dudmaston

This beautiful little Ernst sits in a black border and is stunning, despite its petite appearance. The portrait of a shell, the light palette was such a delight and just at the bottom of the shell, there is the unmistakable swirl of a fingerprint. Yes, you can get that close!

Barbara Hepworth, Delphic Figures 1956, located in Gallery I (the Modern Gallery) at Dudmaston

Two Forms, Barbara Hepworth, located in Gallery I (the Modern Gallery) at Dudmaston

With Barbara Hepworth, you get two for the price of one. Abstract art work and tactile sculpture. For once, her forms were not behind perspex but the desire to caress this was overpowering!

Henry Moore, Seated Woman bronze 1948, 52cm. located in Gallery I (the Modern Gallery) at Dudmaston

Where there’s a Hepworth, there must be a Moore, and this marquette was just superb.

Check out the full collection below and, pay a visit to a little gem: