Art & Domestic Design Talks


Maidstone Museum, St Faith's Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1LH

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Maidstone Museum as seen from Brenchley Gardens


Come and enjoy a series of talks looking into various aspects of domestic design and art restoration with our expert speakers.

Saturday 4th March – Where the Suburbs meet Utopia

As suburban living blossomed in the mid-19th to 20th centuries, so did the suburban garden.  Homeowners created individual utopias in identical spaces, using colourful annual bedding and newly introduced conifers, whilst gardening magazines provided everything from over-sized hedge-cutters to ceramic edging and mini hothouses. Early photographs reveal proud families wielding gardening tools as women and children joined in the fun. In the words of a leading garden writer of the day, ‘He who lays out his [suburban] garden . .  may find it as much amusement . .  as if it were a domain of thousands of acres’. Join us for this fascinating talk by Dr Twigs Way.

Saturday 11th March – Life of an Art Dealer & Picture Restorer

Join us as Nick Hampshire, President of the Maidstone Art Society, talks about his experiences in the art world. He will also be exploring art restoration, with illustrated examples of restoration projects (before and after!)

Saturday 18th March – Buildings of Maidstone Museum

The complex of buildings which make up the present museum has evolved over centuries, from the earliest Medieval house to the Tudor manor built in the reign of Elizabeth I, followed by 19th century Victorian additions bequeathed by local benefactors. Local families built, lived and worked in the buildings, decorating the walls according to their taste (sometimes dubious!) and creating gardens which bloomed with colour.  Come and find out about the interesting, sometimes eccentric, personalities who shaped and created the spaces, inside and out, that we know today. We will also visit some areas to see the decorative aspects. An insightful talk by the Museum’s Public Programming Manager, Lyn Palmer

Saturday 25th March – From Flocks to Florals: A History of Wallpaper

Everyone has a view on wallpaper. It can be loved for its ability to transform a room or decried for its tastelessness. Opinions are rarely neutral. But as new layers are pasted over old, wallpaper can reveal a hidden past and make an invaluable contribution to social and architectural history. Lucy Ellis looks at design, manufacture, selling and promotion as she unrolls the fascinating story of wallpaper.

All talks will start at 11.30am, approx. 45 mins with Q&A at the end.

Talks are priced at £6 each or buy a ticket for all 4 for just £20

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
All 3 remaining talks£15.00 per ticket
Each talk£6.00 per ticket

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

Map & Directions

Opening Times

From Flocks to Florals: A History of Wallpaper (25 Mar 2023)

* All talks will start at 11.30am, approx. 45 mins with Q&A at the end.


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Samurai armour at Maidstone MuseumMaidstone Museums, MaidstoneMaidstone Museum is an exceptional regional museum housed in the gorgeous Chillington Manor, an Elizabethan manor house. Come and discover the hidden gems in the collections, which boast a rich and impressive variety of historical objects, fine art and natural history.

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