Monday, April 12, 2010

Private homes? Museums?

Looking for once private homes that are now museums. Any suggestions from around the world?


  1. Boston: Isabella Stuart Gardner.

    London: John Soanes.
    Leighton House in London.
    Kenwood House
    Handel House
    Keats House

    Paris: Musee Jacquemart Andre.
    Musee Nissim de Camondo.
    Musee de la Vie Romantique.
    Musee Gustave Moreau.

  2. No revelations but The house of Anne Frank in Amsterdam and The gardens of Axel Munthe in Capri comes to mind aswell as Emperor Nero's house in Rome.

  3. Vizcaya in Miami, Florida.

  4. Here are 2 in Minneapolis. You'll really appreciate the second one!

  5. Emily Dickenson house in Amherst, MA.
    Louisa May Alcott house in Concord, MA.
    Anne of Green Gables house up in Prince Edward Island.

    Apparently my mother took me to a lot of female authors'/characters' houses. :-)

  6. You know what else is really cool? The Peabody Essex museum in Salem, MA has a traditional house from China that they shipped over and completely rebuilt within the museum. The audio tour is great.

  7. Klunkehjemmet på Nationalmuseet i København. Endda gratis!

  8. Lougheed House in Calgary

  9. There's one in Boston! Isabella Stewart Gardner museum.

  10. In Mexico City, El Museo Dolores Olmedo. Olmedo was a socialite and an art collector who was friends with Diego Rivera. Her house became an art museum open to the public after her death. One quirky thing about the grounds is that she collected peacocks when she was alive, and they wander around the gardens everywhere.


  12. Trotsky Museum in Mexico City

  13. In NYC:

    The Frick--with Fragonard murals that will make you swoon
    JP Morgan Library--with Wm. Blake etchings, Dicken's handwritten Christmas Carol manuscript and letters penned by Jane Austen and her siblings. Also Morgan has nice cafe with classic cocktails.

  14. The Newport Mansions in Rhode Island - the Breakers, the Elms, Chateau-Sur-Mer...

  15. Diego Rivera's house in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico is now The Diego Rivera Museum.

    (Semi-related: No one who visits Guanajuato should miss the famous museum of mummies.)

  16. gabriele münter's house in Murnau, Bavaria
    an exceptional woman and artist, and kandinsky's love

  17. I visited Na Bolom in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico in january. It's the home of the danish explorer Frans Blom and his übercool swiss wife, photoghrapher Gertrude Duby.

  18. Wilberforce House in Hull - birthplace of anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce.

  19. Merchants House in NYC; perfectly preserved 19th century family home. I loved it!

  20. Berlin: The house of Max Liebermann where a big part of his art was produced and inspired.

  21. Oh my god, i forgot Denis Severs House in Shoreditch. My favourite of them all.

  22. Kyoto has a number of former private residences turned museum. See:

  23. Finn Juhls house, ordrupgaard, CPH

  24. villa savoy, le corbusier, south of paris

  25. Go to the Villa Balbianella on Lake Como in Italy. It's been featured in lots of movies, like "A Month by the Lake" (which you should see if you haven't!!) Beautiful place.

  26. Biltmore, Ashville, North Carolina, USA.

  27. There is also Doris Duke's former home, Shangri La, in Honolulu, Hawaii. It's currently open as a museum for Islamic art, and features a lot of reconstruction work that Duke performed herself.

  28. Asheville, North Carolina: The Biltmore Estate (it was once the largest private home on the continent and has a room that is a replica of the mirror room in Versailles). There's also a vineyard on the estate. Are you planning a trip?

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina: The Reynolda House,

    Charleston, South Carolina (I have been to many of these--not all):
    Aiken-Rhett House Museum
    Calhoun Mansion
    Edmondston-Alston House
    Thomas Elfe House
    Heyward-Washington House
    Joseph Manigault House
    Nathaniel Russell House
    Drayton Hall
    Middleton Place

    Rock Hill, SC:
    Historic Brattonsville and there are several houses on the 776 acre estate--Col. Bratton House, the Homestead, the Brick House and Forest Hall (now called Hightower Hall)

  29. strindbergsmuseet, verner von heidenstams övralid, ellen keys hem.

  30. Hi Emi. You need to contact the artist and art theoretist Ulla Karttunen from Finland. She had an art gallery in her home while she lived in Paris. Ulla became involved in a long court process as she dealt with the sensitive area of child pornography that is openly availavle on the web in her latest exhibition. If you have problems contacting her drop me a line on Twitter at MikaNyman.

  31. I'm interested now in what qualifies as a private house turned museum - does it have to have a collection, or could it be a private house that is empty but now open to the public? Villa Savoye is a wonderful house but completely empty except for a few non-original sticks of Charlotte Perriand/le Corbusier furniture. Is it a museum or a private house now open to the public? More of a museum is the Maison Louis Carre, built and furnished by Aalto, also west of Paris. All the original furniture and furnishings are there.

    Either way the Villa Savoye is fabulous. But I'd say it's not a museum, which to me has to house a collection of some kind.

  32. in berlin: the house of bertolt brecht (bertolt-brecht-haus)
    in vienna: the bauhaus-villa haus wittgenstein
    in weimar(germany): the house of goethe with garden
    moscow: Lenin-Haus in Uljanovsk
    best wishes, franziska

  33. The Barnes Foundation is housed in an 18th-century farmhouse in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

  34. Also in London, is the Freud Museum in Hampstead

  35. oh, and Dove Cottage is the museum/ former home of William Wordsworth in the Lake District (Grasmere I think...)

  36. I forgot! The Phillips Collection in DC is housed partially in a former private residence. Love it. DC is full of historical homes.

  37. In Poland we have some museums in private houses.

    in Warsaw
    Stawisko - house of Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, writer -

    House of Maria Dąbrowska, writer

    House of Maria Curie-Sklodowska, chemist, Nobel prize laureate

    in Cracow:
    House of Jan Matejko, painter

    in Zakopane
    Atma - house of Karol Szymanowski, composer

  38. Hallwayska palatset
    ...and more

  39. Falling Water - Frank Llyod Wright -

    The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, Ireland -

    The Huntington Art Gallery, (

    The Frick collection, NYC

    The Adamson House, Malibu, California -

    California Heritage Museum, Santa Monica, CA -

    Monticello - Thomas Jefferson's house, Virginia-

    Mark Twain House Hartford Connecticut

    The Georgia O'Keffee house in New Mexico -

    Jackson Pollock House NY -

    The White House, Washington DC. Has quite a bit of very good art, open for public tours, has always been a private residence.

  40. The Wallace Collection in London. I love it.

  41. Buckingham Palace.
    Kettles Yard in Cambridge.
    Erno Goldfinger's house in Lawn Road, Hampstead.

    I hope these guys are paying your expenses! You have a lot of ground to cover here.

  42. I grew up in California and there is always the Winchester House - Sarah Winchester was the heir to the Winchester rifle fortune and was basically convinced she was haunted and if she ever stopped building her house she would die. It ended up with all sorts of crazy rooms and stairways to nowhere and is a fun look if you're ever in the Bay Area What are the odds?

    Also if you're over on our coast, there is a gorgeous historic estate called Filoli that is known for its fantastic gardens. The house is nice but I LOVE the gardens. Full disclosure, I did work there briefly but I still love going back to visit.

  43. The Neue Galerie and the Cooper-Hewitt in NYC. Both gorgeous, but especially the Neue.

  44. Here in Southern California, the Huntington Library and Gardens spring to mind, as does the infamous Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Also, please do check out the Barnes Foundation near Philadelphia, as someone else is my understanding that the collection will be moving out of the private home in the near future.

  45. Ernest Hemingway's House in Key West, Florida. It's small, so you can spend the rest of the day on the beach..or by a pool.


I welcome any comment, so happy to hear from you.