All of the museum’s in-house exhibitions are FREE to visit after admission to the museum.

Marie-Louise in Amersham

Temporary exhibition, Saturday 9 March 2024 to Monday 26 August 2024
Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Gallery
 
Dorothy, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, 1945, oil on canvas, Amersham Museum
Dorothy, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, 1945, oil on canvas, Amersham Museum. ©️Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust 2024

In 1940, Vienna-born artist Marie-Louise von Motesiczky (1906-1996) moved to Amersham, with her mother Henriette and their housekeeper Marie Hauptmann. Fleeing persecution in Austria, initially via Amsterdam and London, they settled in Buckinghamshire. She spent time with other émigrés living in Amersham, including the future Nobel prize-winning author Elias Canetti (1905-94), and the composer, pianist and teacher Francesco Ticciati (1893-1949).

Starting with her six paintings in the museum’s collection, explore Marie-Louise’s time in Amersham, her direct community on Chestnut Lane and fellow émigrés who visited her there during (and directly after) the Second World War. Amersham was a refuge for many during the war, and Marie-Louise would have encountered others who had settled here temporarily.  Beyond her own circle of friends, she would have witnessed evacuee children sent to Amersham to live with local families, a community of Jewish people, mostly from London, and people displaced from the capital and other cities. She would have seen the Home Guard on manoeuvres, and witnessed soldiers based throughout the town, in transit before missions elsewhere. There was a wider official presence too, with elite naval officers training in old Amersham, scientists establishing a research centre in Little Chalfont and German prisoners of war helping MI5 and MI6 at Latimer House. The exhibition features copies of Marie-Louise’s works that captured some of this wartime community.

 

Marie-Louise von Motesiczky and Veza Canetti in the studio at Cornerways, early 1940s, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Archive, Tate Archives, London
Marie-Louise von Motesiczky and Veza Canetti in the studio at Cornerways, early 1940s, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Archive, Tate Archives, London

 

The exhibition has a specific focus on the road Marie-Louise lived on, Chestnut Lane, on the border between Amersham and the village of Chesham Bois. In the 1940s the road was unmade, without street lights and featured a mix of large and small houses, a pub and a local shop. At the end of the road there was (and still is) a local farm surrounded by rolling hills. The exhibition features some of the people who lived on the road, their jobs and work to support the war effort, in order to imagine who Marie-Louise saw and knew, and to better understand our town’s wartime community.

Marie-Louise von Motesickzy Charitable Trust

The exhibition also includes works created through our community learning programme. Through four artist-led workshops, families from the South Bucks Jewish Community have learned about Marie-Louise and her portraiture, and created their own self-portraits for display. We have also worked with 180 children from Chestnut Lane Infant School, which is located directly opposite Cornerways, the house Marie-Louise lived in. Artwork created by the Year 2 children about the people and events that took place on Chestnut Lane in the 1940s features in an illustrated map and trail.

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Previous Exhibition – Amersham Before Plastic

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Online Exhibition – Amersham in Lockdown

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Online Exhibition – Amersham Through a Lens

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Online Exhibition – Amersham Museum Art Club Spring Show

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Plan Your Visit

We are currently closed for our Winter break.

We will re-open in March 2024.

 

49 High Street
Old Amersham
Buckinghamshire
HP7 0DP

01494 723700
[email protected]

 

“Enjoyed our visit to this wonderful interactive museum where you are positively encouraged to touch things!”

“Visited Amersham museum yesterday – lovely place, provides many details on the history of the place. Plenty of cute cafes, pubs and shops around also… not difficult to find free parking nearby. ”

“A well-run, informative and interesting small museum on the main street. It’s mostly volunteer-run and they do a great job in keeping it and making you feel welcome…Check out the herb garden too.”

“Enjoyable film and television location guided walk around Amersham hosted by Amersham Museum – here are the Sun Houses on Highover Park and further up the hill is High & Over.”

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