Exhibitions | The Hanoverians on Britain’s Throne, 1714–1837

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 21, 2014


Exhibitions observing the Hanoverian tercentennial just keep coming (and forgive the use of an image used to mark materials appropriate for kids twelve and older; it’s simply the best high-resolution version I could find of a logo that appears in various guises throughout the marketing of the exhibitions). Comparing the exhibitions in Britain with those in Germany would seem interesting; for anyone interested in George II’s illegitimate son, Reichsgraf Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn, I think you’ll do much better in Hanover. CH

From the exhibition website:

Als die Royals aus Hannover kamen
Hanover, 17 May — 5 October 2014

For 123 years, the Electorate of Hanover and the Kingdom of Great Britain were linked by a single monarch. This important historical period is the theme of the Lower Saxony State Exhibition 2014. From 17th May to 5th October 2014 five exhibitions in palaces and museums in Hanover and Celle will be dedicated to the numerous facets and interactions that characterised the personal union. We invite you to discover the time when the royals came from Hanover.

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The Hanoverians on Britain’s Throne, 1714–1837
Lower Saxony State Museum Hanover, 17 May — 5 October 2014


State Crown of George I, 1715 (Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2014)

The major central exhibition in the Lower Saxony State Museum Hanover provides an overview of the whole period of the personal union. Based on the biographies of George I, George II, George III, George IV, and William IV, the life and works of the five rulers, as well as important historical events from this time, such as the Seven Years’ War, the battle for independence of the American colonies, and the Napoleonic Age, are explored. Visitors also learn what effect the connection between the two unequal empires had on the fields of art, culture, science and society.

The pomp and ceremony of the court in London is addressed, as is the founding of the University of Göttingen, the significance of George Friedrich Handel and the influence of English fashion in Hanover. Topics such as travel, horses, tea or language and portraits of important characters from this time, including Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Jonathan Swift and Jane Austen, paint a multi-faceted picture of the time when the royals came from Hanover. Visitors can view some 450 outstanding exhibits from German, British and international museums, including the State Crown of George I and numerous other precious items on loan from the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. They are attractively displayed and supplemented by audio and multimedia exhibits.

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The Hanoverians on Britain’s Throne, 1714–1837
Museum Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, 17 May — 5 October 2014

To be staged in the wings of the rebuilt Herrenhausen Palace that house the museum, the exhibition recounts the story of the new Electorate of Hanover on the eve of the personal union and during its early years. The show not only reveals the essential elements of representative court life around the turn of the 18th century but also brings together a fascinating selection of fine exhibits ranging from Baroque pomp to the simple everyday court life of the Guelphs of Hanover.

In the west wing of the former Guelph summer residence, the visitor encounters the unique collection of Reichsgraf Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn (1736–1811). As the illegitimate son of George II, he was born and grew up in England, brought his passion for art from the island to Hanover, and established an important collection of antiques and paintings here. Dispersed by auction in 1818, now over 200 years later, some highlights of the large number of treasures from international museums are on show in Hanover for the first time again.


State Carriage of Prince of Wales Georg IV, built in 1782
and since 1814 state carriage no. 1 for the kings in Hannoverc
(Loan SKH Prinz Ernst August von Hannover)

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One Coach and Two Kingdoms: Hanover and Great Britain, 1814–1837
Historisches Museum Hannover, 17 May — 5 October 2014

The Royal State Coach is the centrepiece of this exhibition. This impressive coach was built in 1782 for the Opening of Parliament ceremony in London. In 1814, following victory over the Napoleonic troops and the elevation of Hanover to a Kingdom, the coach was brought over to the mainland. The coach was used in 1821 on the occasion of King George IV’s long awaited trip to Hanover. The exhibition tells the story of the Royal State Coach, which serves as a unique illustration of the personal connection between Great Britain and Hanover. In addition, the exhibition portrays the young Kingdom of Hanover against the background of British world power: the Guelph rulers and their local representatives, the political debates about the Constitution and land reforms, the extensive traditional economy, as well as Hanover as a royal seat, which was given a grandiose new face by Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves, master builder to the court.


John Hamilton Mortimer, A Caricature Group, ca. 1766
(New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection)

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Royal Theatre: British Caricatures from the Time of the Personal Union and the Present Day
Wilhelm Busch – Deutsches Museum für Karikatur und Zeichenkunst, Hannover, 17 May — 5 October 2014

In the thematic exhibition in the Wallmoden Palace, the era of the Personal Union is scrutinized in detail: with some 250 high quality exhibits, the exhibition presents a lively picture of the English monarchy and society at the time of the Personal Union, while also making the connection between the single sheet caricatures of 300 years ago and caricatures in the press today. Then, just as they do now, caricatures criticised parliamentary policies, commentated with glee on court scandals and intrigues, and entertained the public with society gossip. Even the Kings of the House of Hanover had to put up with the mockery of the caricaturists, just as Queen Elizabeth II has to today. Items on loan from international, predominantly British, museums and collections as well as from contemporary cartoonists supplement the already impressive collection of the museum Wilhelm Busch – Deutsches Museum für Karikatur und Zeichenkunst.

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Ready for the Island: The House of Brunswick-Lüneburg on the Path to London
Residenzmuseum in Celle Castle, 17 May — 5 October 2014

Attributed to Jacques Vaillant, Sophie Dorothea with Her Children Georg August (the future George I) and Sophie Dorothea, ca. 1690 (Residenzmuseum im Celler Schloss / Bomann-Museum Celle)

Attributed to Jacques Vaillant, Sophie Dorothea with Her Children Georg August (the future George II) and Sophie Dorothea, ca. 1690 (Residenzmuseum im Celler Schloss / Bomann-Museum Celle)

How does one get ‘Ready for the Island’? Glorious wars and magnificent festivals present the power and glory of the Guelphs to the world. Even today, the works of art from this period are greeted with wonder. However, behind the gleaming facade, family intrigues and tragedies were played out. Daughters toppled their fathers from the throne; sons were imprisoned by their own father. In the historic setting of the original locations in the Residenzmuseum in the Celle Palace we take a look not only at the attractive outward image, but also at the reality behind the facade. It quickly becomes clear that the Guelphs systematically engineered their rise to power through marriage, wars and festivals. Unique exhibits from home and abroad bring this exciting history back to life once more.

Additional images are available here»

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