The House of Marcelle

A new production in the centenary year of Marcelle van Caillie’s birth

Opens August 2019

It’s 1954. Marcelle van Caillie meets a young British military doctor in a bar in Knokke, North Belgium, a man who appreciates her lively intellect and encourages her to paint. Their love affair inspires this female painter, constrained by an unhappy marriage, societal restriction and gender expectation, to dream of London as a new home where she might thrive with a supportive partner and be able to paint freely. She writes letter upon letter after her sweetheart returns to Britain. Sometimes three a day.
“I am overflowing with joy-thus try to be in Victoria to meet the morning boat”
The House of Marcelle lifts the lid on a never-before-explored collection of letters, stored up till now in an mid century x-ray film box. Meet the words that shed light on Marcelle van Caillie‘s yearning to migrate to Britain, a choice that triggered an entirely new style of painting.
“i must work, I must”
And discover the sacrifices involved in that migration. And what came back to bite.

A major new production in the centenary year of Marcelle van Caillie’s birth, The House of Marcelle, opens this summer inspired by the painter’s 1954-6 writing alongside the largest collection of her work, lent by Akiko and Henry Sanford, on view for the first time outside her former home.
The House of Marcelle


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