Bridget Smith, The Picker House (Living Room), 2012. Commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery. Courtesy of the artist

Stanley Picker Trust

Born in New York in 1913, Stanley Picker arrived in England after completing his studies at Harvard University, to take over his father’s cosmetics business. The beauty brands developed by the company – among them Gala, Miners, Mary Quant and Outdoor Girl – each epitomised their era and created a wealth that permitted Stanley Picker to indulge his greatest love, the arts.

His impeccable late-modernist house in Kingston upon Thames was designed in 1968 by architect Kenneth Wood, for Stanley to live amongst his growing collection of art and design objects. When he retired in 1976 he devoted more time to his interest in art, and built a private gallery in his garden dedicated to the more important items of his growing collection. In 1977 he established the Stanley Picker Trust to support the education and careers of young arts practitioners. Stanley died in 1982 leaving in the Trust, the House and its collection, an enduring legacy that ensures his passion for the arts lives on to this day.

 

In recent years, Stanley Picker Fellows Elizabeth Price and Ab Rogers Design have taken the Picker House and its collection as a direct point of inspiration for their respective Fellowship commissions, images and information about which can be found in the Exhibitions section of this site.

A fully illustrated book The Picker House and Collection: A Late 1960s Home for Modern Art and Design  – with essays by Jonathan Black, David Falkner, Fiona Fisher, Fran Lloyd, Rebecca Preston and Penny Sparke – was published by Philip Wilson Publishers in 2012, marking thirty years since the death of Stanley Picker in 1982, and is available for sale in our Shop. Architect Kenneth Wood is also the subject of an extensive research project on his wider practice, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

The Picker House and its collection, the Stanley Picker Gallery and Fellowships at Kingston University, and the Trust’s continued support for the careers of young arts practitioners, all stand as a living memorial to a unique and generous man.

Visiting The Picker House & Collection

Stanley Picker Gallery is not responsible for coordinating access to the Picker House. The House is open for a limited number of pre-arranged group visits, between April and October. Please visit www.stanleypickertrust.org further details and bookings.