Cambridge is about to welcome a new hidden gem to its cultural offering. Next Spring David Parr House at 186 Gwydir Street will open to the public for the first time although a lucky few have already been through the front door. David Parr worked by day as an artist painter for the local firm of F R Leach & Sons, a Cambridge firm of artist decorators and craftsmen who created interiors for William Morris and other leading figures of the Arts and Crafts movement. He would return to his ordinary terraced house, and working by candlelight, he created an extraordinary interior for his own private enjoyment.
If you do anything, do it well.
Volunteer-led tours will take visitors through the front door of the David Parr House and into each room of the remarkable house as the stories of the occupants’ lives are revealed. Displays of David Parr’s notebook, diaries, painting tools, photos and family audio recordings will illuminate the day-to-day life of the largely forgotten but talented and highly skilled artisans by exploring Cambridge’s social history, domesticity, the 20th Century home, memories and reminiscence.
In 1912, David Parr inscribed on his Drawing Room wall ‘If you do anything, do it well’. This sentiment has inspired the passionate private donors and dedicated volunteers who, over the past five years, have helped to save the David Parr House by conserving and restoring it, partly funded by a Heritage Lottery Grant.
We hope that all our visitors at Cambridge Art Fair 2018 enjoy visiting our stand to see objects from the house and collection on display, to meet some of the people who saved the house. To find out how to become a collections, garden, research or house guide volunteer please speak to us on the stand during the show.
With support from National Lottery players every £1 is doubled by Heritage Lottery Fund and Barclay will also match the first £1,000 donated at this year’s Cambridge Art Fair so, with Gift Aid, a Gift of £5 becomes £25, £10 becomes £50 and £50 becomes £250. That’s the kind of maths we like!
The David Parr House is currently seeking special people to become founding patrons. They will be offered their own personal experiences including handling special objects from the collection, meeting special guests, invitations to curatorial events and to see behind the scenes before and after the house is open to the public. All gifts and donations go towards building a £1m endowment so that art lovers can enjoy an annual programme of exhibitions, talks, special events and craft workshops.
Come along to the art fair 27-30th September at Quy Mill Hotel & Spa and find the David Parr House team on Stand F1. Tamsin Wimhurst, Chair of the Trustees of David Parr House will be delivering a FREE talk about the history and the future of this fascinating project on Friday 28th September at 4pm in the Wine Bar. At 5pm, straight after Tamsin's talk, there will be an Auction of Experiences to raise money for the project. This will also take place in the Wine Bar and all are welcome to attend.