This season we were looking forward to adding extra opening days to our visitor programme and were working on creating a new extra gallery space to show more work by contemporary established and emerging artists. Lee & Roland were passionate about promoting artists work and we wanted to continue this tradition. But before we could open the pandemic swept over us and now it threatens us being able to open at all. Also the funds we usually make through being open which helps us to care for the house each winter will not be raised and leaves us increasingly concerned about Farleys ability to keep going. The iconic fireplace mural here is in need of conservation work that normally would have been paid for through the funds we gain from admissions.
We had every reason to be excited by our 2020 programme with seven headlining Lee Miller exhibitions around the world, a mass of other loans to important shows and several new books on the horizon. The house looked all sparkly after its winter, conservation clean, maintenance and re-hang and the gallery programme featured Grim Glory, a newly researched exhibition of Lee Miller’s photography from the Blitz of 1940 in London.
Then came Covid19. With no visitors our admission fees disappeared and so did all of our gallery and cafe sales. With galleries and museums closed globally, our gallery and Lee Miller Archives touring exhibitions and loans that we collaborated with other galleries and museums on were postponed or cancelled. We have had bad times before such as in 2008, but out of the strands of our visitors, copyright and publishing income and exhibition fees that we ususally support ourselves with we have never had the perfect storm that took out all of them.
We are tough and we are optimists, which is why we believe that things will turn round, but our problem is staying around to be present for that moment and this is why we are taking this step of crowd funding.
Thank you to those of you who have already supported us by buying through our online shop. It means a lot to us. Please support and/or share our crowd funder if you can.