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Apollo Magazine’s 2013 Exhibition of the Year: Houghton Revisited

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 31, 2013

From Apollo Magazine:

Apollo Magazine’s 2013 Exhibition of the Year
Houghton Revisited at Houghton Hall, Norfolk

9781907533501_p0_v1_s260x420There have been some great international blockbuster shows this year: Inventing Abstraction, 1910–1925 at MoMA and Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum. At Apollo, we also like to celebrate focused exhibitions that enlighten us with the exceptional intelligence of their curation on a smaller scale: Piero della Francesca in America at the Frick Collection brought together most of the panels of the Sant’Agostino altarpiece, while the Ashmolean Museum’s Francis Bacon/Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone tuned into a conversation between two artists that few had previously heard with such clarity. At the St Louis Art Museum, and later the National Gallery in London, Barocci: Brilliance and Grace provided revelations about one artist’s restless inventiveness; while The Springtime of the Renaissance, at Palazzo Strozzi and now the Louvre, brought superb loans together in sharp and surprising ways.

But one exhibition ran away with the laurels this year. Once-in-a-lifetime is a phrase that gets bandied about too much—but this was not just a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, but something we may have to wait another two and half centuries to see again. It reunited many of the works from Robert Walpole’s magnificent collection, including many simply audacious loans from Russia and elsewhere, recreating their original hang at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, and bringing 114,000 visitors through the doors. I am delighted to present this award to curator Thierry Morel and Lord David Cholmondeley for Houghton Revisited.

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