The Hardmans' House
The former home and studio of the husband-and-wife photographers E Chambré (1898-1988) and Margaret (1909-1970) Hardman.
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- Guided Tours
- Open to the public
Born in Dublin, Edward Chambré Hardman took his first photographs at the age of nine and developed his practice while serving as a regular officer in India. He and his business partner Kenneth Burrell purchased premises in Liverpool's commercial centre in 1923, and established a photographic studio there. In 1932, Hardman married his former photographic assistant, Margaret Mills. Since Burrell had handed the business over entirely to his former partner, Edward and Margaret Hardman established their own practice instead, and purchased 59 Rodney Steet in the early 1950s. This house would remain their home and studio for the rest of their lives, with Margaret running the business, but also taking her own evocative photographs, many of them unsigned.
After Margaret's death in 1970, Hardman's mental and physical health declined, and he soon became a recluse. Rescued from destruction by a philanthropist, the 'Hardmans' House', as it is now known, was transferred to the National Trust after Hardman's death in 1988, complete with its contents. The collection includes over 13,000 objects, including everyday items such as soaps, stockings, books and postcards, as well as studio tools - camera equipment, toys, chairs, and a stuffed leopard named Carruthers. Today, the house provides a glimpse into domestic and artistic life in mid-twentieth century Liverpool.