Worldwide icon-chevron-right 5 beautiful artists’ homes around the world that you can visit
Hassan Hajjaj’s house in Marrakech
Photograph: Riad Yima / Hassan Hajjaj

5 beautiful artists’ homes around the world that you can visit

Great artists don’t just create great work – they make beautiful spaces too. Here are five of the most beautiful artists’ homes that welcome guests

By Huw Oliver
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After a year of stay-at-home restrictions and WFH routine, we’re craving new spaces and sights. But if you want proof that a home can be more than just a place to live, ask an artist.

From Frida Kahlo’s blue house in Mexico City to Gustave Moreau’s cavernous studio in Paris, plenty of former artists’ homes have been preserved for visitors as their famous owners left them. That might mean drips of paint everywhere or random curios to spark inspiration; epic views chosen for their aesthetic power, or a home that’s become a work of art in itself. Sometimes (because it’s pretty damn hard to separate life and work when you’re a full-time creative) every floor, wall and surface can become a receptacle for ideas. And if you’re really lucky, the artist themselves will be at home to welcome you.

Got the itch to visit? (When you can, of course.) Here are five of the most beautiful artists’ homes around the world, as featured Wyse’s new book, Artists in Residence’. It takes readers on a tour of several significant artists’ homes – former and contemporary – that offer visitors an insight into their owners’ creative lives. As Wyse puts it, artists who live and work in the same space can ‘transform everyday spaces into dynamic reflections of their individual artistic passions’. Which can mean an unforgettable experience for anyone who might drop by.

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Some of these locations may be closed to current restrictions. Please check before visiting.

Most beautiful artists’ homes you can visit

Interior of Charleston
Interior of Charleston
Photograph: P. Fewster, courtesy of Charleston

Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, England

‘When Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved to their home in East Sussex, England, they started painting on its surfaces. They painted its walls and mantles, doors and doorframes, furniture, cabinets and window seats. They covered their home with swirls and patterns, lush human figures, and painted bowls of painted fish. Their home became a sketchbook where they improvised ideas, and also a work of art in its own right: a three-dimensional painting they could live inside.’

The house, galleries and garden at Charleston are normally open to the public. Check for current restrictions.

Hassan Hajjaj’s house in Marrakech
Hassan Hajjaj’s house in Marrakech
Photograph: Riad Yima / Hassan Hajjaj

Hassan Hajjaj, Marrakech

‘Contemporary artist Hassan Hajjaj’s house in Marrakech is at once a private home, gallery, gift shop and tearoom. He has filled its tiled courtyard with furniture of his own design, made from repurposed red plastic crates and round buckets topped with custom cushions. For Hajjaj, homes are not only spaces of retreat, but also places where we extend ourselves in hospitality to others. Like his bold multimedia installations, Hajjaj’s concept of home is dynamic and inventive: a cross between museum and house, art and home.’

Riad Yima’s shop, gallery and tearoom are all open to the public.

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Melrose Plantation
Melrose Plantation
Photograph: Melrose Plantation

Clementine Hunter, Louisiana

‘In her house on the Cane River in Louisiana, Clementine Hunter rolled wallpaper right across the ceilings and down both walls, arching her rooms in patterned warmth. Almost all her life, she worked and lived on the Melrose Plantation, deep in Jim Crow racism. At night, she stayed up late and painted evocative botanicals and landscapes. From her screened-in porch, Hunter sold her work to collectors – and charged an admission fee to those who came to look. She understood her work’s value, though it was too often dismissed as folk art curiosity (then and now).’

The Melrose Plantation is open to the public.

Georgia O'Keeffe's Abiquiu Home and Studio, Bedroom Interior
Georgia O'Keeffe's Abiquiu Home and Studio, Bedroom Interior
Abiquiú Bedroom, 2019. Photograph: Krysta Jabczenski, courtesy of Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Georgia O’Keeffe, New Mexico

‘At her home in New Mexico, Georgia O’Keeffe lived in daily intimacy with the landscape – the colours and forms so central to her art. Inside her house, she experimented with aesthetic vocabularies. Like sketches, she arranged and rearranged her collections of skulls and rocks and bones. Her home offered her both artistic immersion and a respite. An avid gardener, O’Keeffe canned and dried her harvests. On the plain white sofa in her kitchen, she placed throw pillows printed with delicate farmhouse flowers and patterned with hearts.’

Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiguiú are normally open to the public between March and November every year. You must book a tour in advance. Check for current restrictions.

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Pollock-Krasner House
Pollock-Krasner House
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons / Americasroof

Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, New York

‘At the edge of Long Island in New York, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock restored and decorated their run-down house with improvised materials and scavenged pieces. They painted there alongside one another. Later, when Pollock succumbed to alcoholism and died in a horrific car crash, Krasner found ways to continue. Her life in their home was shaped by grief, and also by the art she made; its depth and lyricism. Over the years, her space evolved, marked by the ebbing ways our homes can hold us through life’s many shifts.’

The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center are open to the public between May and October every year. You must book a tour in advance.

‘Artists in Residence’ is published by Chronicle Books.

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