Hogarth's talents and interests were wide-ranging, and displays in the house tell the story of his life and works. He hated injustice, snobbery and pretension, and deplored the degradation suffered by the poor.
One of his best-known images, Gin Lane, has come to represent the worst aspects of slum life in 18th century London; its lesser-known counterpart, Beer Street, shows the peace and prosperity which might result if beer, rather than gin, became the staple drink of the poor.
Hogarth was a key supporter of Captain Coram's new Foundling Hospital for orphaned and abandoned children, which effectively became London's first public art gallery through his efforts - with donations from its fashionable visitors helping to support the institution. In an era when few people concerned themselves with such things, he also felt strongly about the maltreatment of animals, and drew attention to this issue in his prints The Four Stages of Cruelty.
Hogarth’s House holds an extensive collection of the artist’s 18th century prints, of which a selection will always be on display and a set of his engraving plates.
The panelled rooms also house some replica pieces of 18th century furniture. These were commissioned from the Chiswick Art-Workers' Guild by Lieutenant-Colonel Shipway, who rescued the house and opened it to the public as a museum to Hogarth in 1904. The Gallery in the former kitchen wing will show an exciting new programme of exhibitions.
Shipway gave the house to Middlesex County Council in 1909 and ownership passed in 1965 to Hounslow Council. The house was refurbished in 1996-97 to mark the tercentenery of Hogarth's birth.
Hogarth's tomb with its inscription by his friend, the great actor, David Garrick, lies a short walk from the house in St Nicholas' churchyard, next to the River Thames. A statue of Hogarth and his pug dog by Jim Mathieson was unveiled in 2001 opposite the junction of Chiswick High Road and Turnham Green Terrace, on the route between Hogarth's House and its closest underground station (Turnham Green).
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