History of Hove Museum & Art Gallery
Victorian villa with an Indian twist
Hove Museum & Art Gallery is a handsome, late 19th century Italianate Victorian villa originally called Brooker Hall. It was designed by architect Thomas Lainson and built for John Oliver Vallance. John Oliver died in 1893 and his widow continued to live in the villa until 1913.
During the World War I the building was used to house German prisoners of war. In 1926 it was purchased by Hove Corporation and opened as a public museum in 1927.
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The Jaipur Gate
In the grounds of Hove Museum stands the Jaipur Gate. It was originally made for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886 in London and has stood in the grounds since 1926. The gateway formed the entry to the Rajputana (now Rajasthan) section of the exhibition and the Maharaja of Jaipur paid for its construction. The gate was dismantled in 2004 for specialist conservation and restoration work and has now been returned complete with a new copper and lead dome roof.
An injection of funding
Thanks to both public and private funding Hove Museum underwent a major refurbishment in 2003. It is now one of the most family friendly and accessible museums in the south east. Part of the redevelopment programme involved working with local artists and community groups to create unique commissions for the museum. These include decorative metal railings, gallery seating and an unusual panel in the lift interior.
Alongside significant collections of toys, pioneering film ephemera, local history and fine art displays, Hove Museum boasts one of the finest craft collections in the country. The museum regularly showcases the work of local and national contemporary makers.
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