« Back to article: Downton Abbey's fake drama is no match for MFAH's real English treasure house and its storied secrets

Houghton Hall exterior day
Houghton Hall: The Portrait of an English County House, on view at the MFAH from June 22-Sept. 21. Photo by Hans A. Rosbach/Wikipedia
Houghton Hall MFAH Wootton - Sir Robert Walpole
John Wootton, Sir Robert Walpole as Master of the King’s Staghounds in Windsor Forest, 1725, oil on canvas, Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall. Photo courtesy of © Bridgeman Art Library
Houghton Hall MFA Merrell - Stone Hall
The Stone Hall at Houghton Hall, shown in the MFAH exhibit with photomural backdrop and key furniture pieces. Photo by © James Merrell
Houghton Hall MFAH Merrell - Walpole Service
A detail of the Walpole Compagnie des Indes Service, c. 1730s, in the Marble Parlour at Houghton Hall. Photo by © James Merrell
Houghton Hall MFAH Sargent - Sybil, Marchioness of Cholmondeley
John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Sybil, Countess Rocksavage, later Marchioness of Cholmondeley, 1913, oil on canvas, Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall. Photo courtesy of © Bridgeman Art Library
Houghton Hall MFAH Merrell - Cabinet Room
The Cabinet Room at Houghton Hall. The incredible handpainted Japanese wall coverings are on display at the MFAH as single panels surrounding the christening bed. Photo by © James Merrell
Houghton Hall MFAH Merrell - Saloon
The Saloon at Houghton Hall. Walk into the Saloon exhibit room at the MFAH and you'll feel like you are there. Photo by © James Merrell
Houghton Hall MFAH Gainsborough - Self Portrait
Thomas Gainsborogh, Self Portrait, 1754, oil on canvas, Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall. Photo courtesy of © Bridgeman Art Library
Houghton Hall MFAH Sevres - Blue Nouveau Vase
Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, Vase from a Set of Three Blue Nouveau Vases, 1760s, soft-paste porcelain, Marquess of Cholmondeley, Houghton Hall. Photo by © Pete Huggins/Houghton Hall
Houghton Hall MFAH Merrell - West Steps
View of the West Steps from the Picture Gallery at Houghton Hall. Photo by © James Merrell