New Drawing Room Display: “Painter, Gardener, Scholar” Humphrey Waterfield, 1908–1971

  • 13 May 2019

Unknown photographer, Photograph of Humphrey Waterfield with his painting “A Scene in Regent's Park”, circa 1934. Paul Mellon Centre, Giles Waterfield Archive (Ref GAW/TN/9). The new Drawing Room Display, on until 13 September 2019, uses items from the Giles Waterfield Archive to explore the life and achievements of the artist and landscape gardener Humphrey Waterfield.

Giles Adrian Waterfield (1949–2016) was a distinguished scholar, museum director and writer. His archive was donated to the Centre in 2017 and – alongside material relating to almost every aspect of Waterfield’s life – also contains material concerning his uncle, Humphrey Waterfield.

Trained as an artist, Humphrey Waterfield was also an accomplished gardener, developing his skills initially at Hill Pasture in Broxted, Essex – the garden he began to construct in 1936 – and subsequently at the Clos du Peyronnet in Menton-Garavan on the Côte D’Azur.

The display draws upon four categories of unpublished material in the Giles Waterfield Archive, all of which were written by Humphrey Waterfield’s lifelong friend and fellow gardener Agnes “Nancy” Dalrymple Tennant: her memoirs of Humphrey Waterfield; a history of the garden at Hill Pasture; the memoirs of Nancy Tennant herself; and the letters Tennant wrote to Waterfield. It also incorporates research undertaken by the garden historian Jean Cornell.

"Painter, Gardener, Scholar" Humphrey Waterfield, 1908–1971 is open to the public Monday to Friday, 10am–5pm, until 13 September 2019.