The Landing (2012) from The Picker House by Bridget Smith. Commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University. Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery

The Living Room (2012) from The Picker House by Bridget Smith. Commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University. Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery

The Master Bedroom I (2012) from The Picker House by Bridget Smith. Commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University. Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery

The Master Bedroom II (2012) from The Picker House by Bridget Smith. Commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University. Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery

The Guest Bedroom (2012) from The Picker House by Bridget Smith. Commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University. Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery

The Dressing Room (2012) from The Picker House by Bridget Smith. Commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University. Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery

Stanley Picker Trust

Stanley Picker Gallery & The Picker House

Established in 1997 with the support of the Stanley Picker Trust, the Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University is one of the leading examples of a university gallery in the UK. Now part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, the Gallery presents an onsite, offsite and online programme of exhibitions, events and participation activities.

The Picker House is an impeccable late-modernist house in Kingston upon Thames designed in 1965 by architect Kenneth Wood, for arts philanthropist Stanley Picker to live amongst his growing collection of art and design objects.

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.

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.

A Modernist in Suburbia
The Picker House and Collection: A Late 1960s Home for Modern Art and Design

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.

Visiting The Picker House & Collection

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

Stanley Picker Fellowships & The Picker House

Supported by the Stanley Picker Trust, the annual Stanley Picker Fellowships support contemporary practitioners across art and design to create and premiere an innovative body of new work at the Stanley Picker Gallery.

Over 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. Elizabeth Price’s At The House of Mr X (2007), an excerpt of which is included here, begins with a slow, visual tour of the house, proceeding from the entrance through open-plan areas, into every room.

Elizabeth Price At The House of Mr X (2007) Extract
Open House

From 19 to 27 September 2020, The Picker House, Town House and Dorich House Museum are participating in Open House Festival online. More information here.