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LGBTQ+ History Month | Help us acquire Humphrey Waterfield’s ‘The Temple of Love’

This LGBTQ+ History Month we are fundraising to purchase Humphrey Waterfield’s The Temple of Love (c.1956), to expand our unique collection depicting the story of British artist-gardeners.

As an independent museum we are reliant upon the generosity of our supporters to acquire works for the collection. Our target is £2,250 – will you help us to buy this important part of gardening history? Every pound you give will make a big difference, and if you confirm your gift is eligible for Gift Aid then the Garden Museum can claim an extra 25% on top from HM Government.

Read more about Waterfield’s painting below.

Humphrey Waterfield (1908-1971) The Temple of Love, Hill Pasture, Broxted, Essex c.1956 Oil on canvas, 510mm x 715mm Framed

Humphrey Waterfield was a British landscape gardener and artist. Educated at Eton College and Christchurch College, Oxford, he later studied at Ruskin College and the Slade School of Art. In 1933 Humphrey met Agnes ‘Nancy’ Dalrymple Tennant with whom he formed a lifelong affectionate but platonic relationship.  From the mid-1930s they created a six-acre landscape garden called Hill Pasture in Essex, where he also had a studio and house built, designed by Ernö Goldfinger.

He is well known as an amateur garden designer, with Hill Pasture and the Clos du Peyronnet in Menton, on the Cote D’Azur, being particularly celebrated.  Waterfield had only one solo exhibition in his lifetime held at the Adams Gallery, London in 1962, organised by Clive Bell, who spent winters at Clos du Peyronnet.

Image Courtesy Eden’s Keepers – The Lives and Gardens of Humphrey Waterfield and Nancy Tennant by Sarah Barclay. Published by Clearview Books 2022

This painting depicts one of the key architectural features of Hill Pasture, The Temple of Love cupola, installed from 1956, from where views of the borrowed landscape beyond extended the experience of the garden.  The painting’s wide format and richly coloured greens with strong vertical elements recall the inter-war work of Ivon Hitchens and artists associated with the 7&5 Society.  The areas of muted greys, greens and browns reference the subdued palette of the garden with its silvery green willows and lead architectural features.

The painting is being offered for sale by Rowe & Williams, a Suffolk-based gallery specialising in modern and contemporary art inspired by or made in Suffolk and East Anglia.


Unsigned. Artist’s Estate: Purchased from an Estate Sale at Hill Pasture organised Nancy Tennant in 1972.



Help us acquire Humphrey Waterfield’s ‘The Temple of Love’

Target: £2250

Should the Museum receive donations exceeding our target, donations will support future acquisitions of objects which expand our collections, or can be refunded if preferred.