39th Annual Ruth K. Shartle Symposium: "The English Country House: Then and Now"
The exhibition Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House evokes the grandeur of the home's spectacular interiors. Built in the 1720s for Sir Robert Walpole, Britain's first prime minister, Houghton Hall was designed as a setting for Walpole's magnificent collections of Old Master and 18th-century paintings, tapestries and Roman antiquities. Walpole's strong tradition of artistic patronage and collecting has been continued by members of the Cholmondeley family who inherited the estate in 1789.
"The English Country House: Then and Now" uses the exhibition as a springboard for a dynamic roster of speakers to explore a variety of topics, including the inception of the English country house; the decorations; dining and entertainment; the English country garden; the 20th-century campaign to save great endangered houses; and the challenges of re-creating the room settings of an English country house like Houghton Hall in the galleries of a museum.