Oscar Nemon Studio Museum & Archive

Sketches by Oscar Nemon

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New: The Croatian art critic and academic Dalibor Pranĉević records his visit to Pleasant Land

Thirty-two years after the sculptor Oscar Nemon's death in 1985, a permanent Studio Museum and Archive is opening within the leafy, secluded site of his former home on Boars Hill, near Oxford. Famous for his portraits of Churchill, Freud, Montgomery among others, and originally from Croatia, Nemon came to Britain as an émigré, and then Jewish refugee, in the 1930s. He lived and worked at Pleasant Land from the 1940s.

The Nemon Studio Museum hosts a recreation of his working studio, and a themed display which will change annually. The initial display focuses on his Brussels years, from 1925-39. Nemon created the portrait of Freud, now outside the Tavistock in Hampstead, during this period, and experimented with Constructivism.

The Nemon Studio is housed in an elegant, riveted oval metal structure, similar to the ex-Army huts which Nemon and his family lived in here until 1970. Originally made in the first half of the twentieth century as a prototype kit home, it was given to Nemon by Randolph Churchill and has stood at Pleasant Land since 1969.

Rear of the house at Pleasant Land

The Nemon Archive is sited within the building of Pleasant Land — designed by Nemon. A dramatic, white modernist house, Pleasant Land rises out of the trees of its wild garden. The Archive displays and stores drawings and reliefs, as well as those works which do not form part of the annual themed exhibition.

Hand cast resin and bronze resin busts of Churchill, Freud, Montgomery and Winnicott will be on sale to raise funds for the upkeep of Nemon's works, along with a selection of bronze medals re-cast from 1930s originals.

Parking is available on site. The Nemon Studio Museum is accessible to disabled visitors, and the Archive has a single step. Please email if you have any queries regarding access.

Public opening times for 2017 are 13 & 14 May, 2-6 pm to coincide with Oxfordshire Artweeks. Nemon's daughter and biographer, Aurelia Young, will be talking and taking questions in the Archive on these two dates, while the Studio Museum is self-guided.

Entry is free. Complementary tea and chocolate cake will be served to visitors to celebrate the inauguration of the Nemon Studio Museum.

Groups and academic researchers can additionally email alice@oscarnemon.org.uk to book a visit outside of these dates.

Pleasant Land, The Ridgeway, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5EY [map]

Wild Garden at Pleasant Land Nemon Studio Museum Busts displayed at the museum
Wild Garden at Pleasant LandNemon Studio MuseumBusts displayed at the museum