Can't afford his paintings? Buy David Hockney's childhood home in Bradford


David Hockney in his studio circa 1967Image copyright
Getty Images

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David Hockney made his name as an artist after leaving Bradford for London

If you don’t have a spare $90m (£70m) to buy one of his paintings but still want to own a piece of David Hockney history, you could buy the childhood home where he learned his craft.

The Bradford house where the artist lived from the age of four until he was 21 is on the market for £140,000.

He painted portraits of his family and himself in the house before going to art college in London and finding fame.

Last week, he broke the auction record for a work by a living artist.

The Hockney family lived in the four-bedroom house on Hutton Terrace for 50 years, before his mum sold up in 1993.

When they moved in, his father Kenneth set up a pram workshop in the cellar, and a teenage David would push a pram containing his paints and materials around as he painted on the city’s streets.

Image copyright
William H Brown

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The house (right) is worth 1/500th of Hockney’s most expensive painting

At one point, the budding artist wanted to take over one of the newly decorated bedrooms for his studio, but his mother Laura refused.

“I need the room, and if David had it he would ruin it,” she wrote in a letter that was quoted in his biography. “We all appreciate his work, but he is getting to expect all and give nothing in return – his own room was dreadfully untidy.”

His mother compromised and let him finish a self-portrait in the front bedroom, which had not been decorated – and he spilled paint on the carpet.

When Laura Hockney sold up in 1993, the house’s buyer Leslie Bell found a Bradford Grammar School exercise book containing drawings made by David at the age of 12.

Image copyright
William H Brown

Image caption

A bedroom at the house on Hutton Terrace (decor not by David Hockney)

He sent it back to the artist, even though he could have sold it.

“People said I was mad to give it back because it would be worth thousands, but I know if they were mine I’d want them back. I did the right thing,” he told the Yorkshire Post in 2006.

The house has been extensively modernised, and now has a bold colour scheme that probably would not even fit into Hockney’s bright palette.

The National Trust, which owns John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney’s childhood homes in Liverpool, said it wasn’t interested in buying the Hockney house.

“The house on Hutton Place is not a property we are considering taking on ourselves at present,” a spokesperson said.

“In this case it should continue to be a family home. It is a house with an interesting tale, and hopefully, once sold, the new owners will be inspired by the creativity that was born out of this place, from one of Yorkshire’s most famous and successful sons.”

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