Farleys House and Gallery Ltd is a small family run business that has been running for over 40 years. The business is based in Farleys House, an old historic Sussex farmhouse with a unique cultural importance, lovingly cared for by our small dedicated team and us, the Penrose Miller family.
Farleys, also known as 'The Home of the Surrealists' was the home of Lee Miller, photographer and WWII correspondent and her husband Roland Penrose the surrealist artist who became the friend, curator and biographer of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Man Ray. The combined achievements of Lee and Roland made Farleys a place that people wanted to visit in order to connect more with the lifestyle of the artists, which was something we never imagined would happen to our family home.
Today Farleys is kept as if Roland and Lee have just popped out into the sculpture garden, or to the village shop. Since our first tentative opening in 1999 for just a few people we gradually increased our open days for visitors with no external funding and built a wonderful team of talented tour guides who are as passionate as we are in sharing the story of Farleys.
This season we were looking forward to adding extra opening days to our visitor programme and were working on creating a new extra gallery space to show more work by contemporary established and emerging artists. Lee & Roland were passionate about promoting artists work and we wanted to continue this tradition. But before we could open the pandemic swept over us and now it threatens us being able to open at all. Also the funds we usually make through being open which helps us to care for the house each winter will not be raised and leaves us increasingly concerned about Farleys ability to keep going. The iconic fireplace mural here is in need of conservation work that normally would have been paid for through the funds we gain from admissions.
We had every reason to be excited by our 2020 programme with seven headlining Lee Miller exhibitions around the world, a mass of other loans to important shows and several new books on the horizon. The house looked all sparkly after its winter, conservation clean, maintenance and re-hang and the gallery programme featured Grim Glory, a newly researched exhibition of Lee Miller’s photography from the Blitz of 1940 in London.
Then came Covid19. With no visitors our admission fees disappeared and so did all of our gallery and cafe sales. With galleries and museums closed globally, our gallery and Lee Miller Archives exhibitions Lee Miller Archives touring exhibitions and loans that we collaborated with other galleries and museums on were postponed or cancelled too. We have had bad times before such as in 2008, but out of the strands of our visitors, exhibitions, copyright and publishing income that we usually support ourselves with we have never had the perfect storm that took out all of them.
We are tough and we are optimists, which is why we believe that things will turn round, but our problem is staying around to be present for that moment and this is why we are taking this step of crowd funding.
This is where we need your help
Over the more than 40 years our family have been running Farleys and the Lee Miller Archives we have funded nearly everything ourselves but now we can go no further and we need to ask for help. In the past, particularly when we were starting out we had the most amazingly generous help mainly in expertise, but now to survive we need money. We have never asked for help like this before but the present unprecedented circumstances are so extreme we cannot see our way through without your support.
By donating to Farleys you will help us to continue to share Lee & Roland’s legacy and share this special place filled with art and stories.
We have some special rewards for you to choose from, these are a few examples:
Special Farleys supporters Lee Miller C-type prints, that come with a Farleys supporter stamp, the Lee Miller archives stamp and are a larger size than usual with a paper size of 216 x 267mm:
A limited edition print, 'Maternity' hand printed by printer Jo Welsh from the original etching made by Roland Penrose in 1947 of Lee Miller pregnant with Antony Penrose. .Each etching is numbered and comes with an authentication certificate, plate size 175 x 125mm
A limited edition platiunum palladium print from the Lee Miller Archives, printed by 31 Studio of Lee Miller's Blitz image 'One Night of Love', London, England 1940. It comes with the blind stamp for both the Lee Miller Archives and 31 Studio as well as an authentication certificate. Printed on Platine Arches Paper, size (approx.): 485x381mm, Image size (approx.): 280x268mm
Your pledge will:
- Help Farleys be open in the future as a visitor destination and gallery that exhibits Lee Millers work and that of contemporary artists
- Help us to be compliant for visitors with government guidelines in the current climate.
- Help us defray the costs of running Farleys while tours of the house remain impractical due to social distancing.
If we reach the reach the stretch target your pledge will:
Help with urgent conservation work needed on the fireplace mural painted in Farleys dining room in 1950 by Roland Penrose
- Help us to share some of the programming we had to cancel this year
- Help us develop and plan for Farleys future.
Farleys is more than just a small family business:
- We support local artists, craft workers and performers as well as technicians and suppliers.
- We exhibit work by local, emerging and established artists, sculptors and photographers
- We contribute to the local economy a net additional impact of £440,000
- We employ up to 26 staff a year
- We support educational programmes and schools events.
Thank you for your time and generosity in supporting us during this challenging time.
Stay Safe and with your help, we look forward to seeing you here one day soon.
(All images copyright Lee Miller Archives, England 2020. All Rights Reserved www.leemiller.co.uk)